Hit and Run Accident Attorneys in Harrisonburg, VA
Being involved in a car accident is a terrifying and stressful experience. The shock of a crash can be even worse when the other driver speeds off without stopping to assist those who are injured or exchange insurance information.
If you have sustained significant injuries in a hit-and-run accident in Harrisonburg, you may be wondering about your options for seeking financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and repair costs.
You may need to file a claim against your own uninsured motorist insurance policy which covers injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver. A hit-and-run accident attorney at Kendall Law Firm can review the details of the accident and provide you with sound guidance based on years of experience.
Attorney David Kendall, the founder of Kendall Law Firm, has stood up for injured people in Harrisonburg and throughout the Shenandoah Valley since 2009. A Virginia native, attorney David Kendall has dedicated his professional career to serving others as a former Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Kendall and his firm now focus on advocating for the residents of Harrisonburg and the Central Virginia region when they suffer harm through the negligence of others.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, you owe it to yourself to understand your options for seeking compensation. You should not be stuck with the medical bills for injuries caused by another driver’s recklessness or misconduct.
Reach out to Kendall Law Firm for a free case review. A Harrisonburg personal injury attorney will be ready to discuss your options and help you pursue the compensation you need to move forward.
What Are Hit-and-run Accidents?
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a motorist involved in a collision with another vehicle leaves the scene without:
- Stopping to identify themselves to the owners of other vehicles involved in the collision
- Rendering assistance to anyone who may have been injured
- Exchanging contact and insurance information
- Reporting the accident to the authorities
If a collision occurs with fixed property or an unoccupied vehicle, the driver is required to try and locate the owner or leave a note on the vehicle or property with the driver’s contact information.
In Virginia, the law requires all passengers over the age of 16 to report an accident if the driver of the vehicle in which they were riding failed to stop or report the crash.
In Virginia, engaging in a hit-and-run accident can be charged as a criminal offense. However, leaving the scene of an accident to obtain emergency assistance, such as driving up the road to get a better cell signal to call 911, is not considered a “hit and run” provided the driver immediately returns to the scene after calling for emergency assistance.
Types Of Hit-and-run Accidents
Examples of specific types of hit-and-run accidents include:
- Collisions between motor vehicles, including passenger cars, trucks, or motorcycles
- A motor vehicle colliding with a parked or unoccupied vehicle.
- A motor vehicle colliding with a bicyclist
- A motor vehicle colliding with a pedestrian
- A motor vehicle colliding with a mailbox, fence, or bench
A hit-and-run accident could happen anywhere, from highways or busy roads to Harrisonburg intersections and side streets.
After a hit and run crash, it’s vital to record any information you can such as a description of the vehicle that hit you, and any other identifying information that might help identify and locate the at-fault party.
What Are The Possible Consequences Of A Hit And Run?
A driver who commits a hit and run could face criminal charges if the accident is reported to law enforcement. In Virginia, a hit and run (formally called leaving the scene under state law) could result in a Class 1 misdemeanor charge if the accident resulted in $1,000 or less in property damage.
A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
However, if the accident resulted in injury or death to another person or caused more than $1,000 in property damage, a hit-and-run driver can face a Class 5 felony charge.
A Class 5 felony conviction carries a sentence of one to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,500. A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident can also result in the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.
The biggest consequence for victims of hit-and-run accidents is usually the inability to pursue compensation from the at-fault party if the at-fault driver is never identified.
Without the ability to hold the at-fault driver accountable, accident victims may have difficulty paying for their medical bills, vehicle repairs or replacement, and other unexpected expenses related to the crash.
What To Do If You Are The Victim Of A Hit And Run
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you can take steps to put yourself in the best position to pursue a financial recovery for your medical expenses and related losses. You should:
- Document the accident scene. If you can get a look at the fleeing vehicle or the driver, record the details such as the driver’s description, the make, model, and color of the vehicle, or the vehicle’s license plate number. Take photos of the accident scene including damage to your vehicle, the traffic controls at the scene, and other details such as lighting or weather conditions.
- Identify any witnesses to the crash and gather their contact information.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to get checked for any injuries you may have sustained in the accident. Take photos of any visible injuries. Follow all treatment instructions given by your doctors.
- If you have auto insurance, notify your insurer about the accident as soon as possible.
- Keep copies of all bills and invoices for expenses incurred during your recovery. Make sure to have copies of your pay stubs or income statements if you miss work after the accident.
- Keep a journal documenting your recovery from your injuries and describing how your injuries and medical recovery negatively impacted your quality of life.
- Avoid posting comments about the accident or your injuries on social media. If you are still undergoing treatment for your injuries, avoid posting photos or videos of yourself as well. Insurers sometimes look at injured accident victims’ social media accounts for posts that contradict their claims.
Contact a Harrisonburg hit-and-run accident attorney to go over the details of your case and learn more about your options for pursuing a fair settlement for your injuries.
Use Of Uninsured Motorist Coverage For Damage Caused By A Hit And Run Driver
Virginia does not require drivers to carry auto liability insurance. Instead, the insurance requirement can be waived by paying a $500 fee to the state. For that reason, state law requires insurers in Virginia to offer uninsured motorist coverage to drivers who purchase insurance, in an amount equal to the bodily injury liability coverage purchased by a driver.
A driver’s own uninsured motorist coverage is responsible for providing compensation for an accident victim’s expenses and losses, including medical bills, lost wages after a hit-and-run collision.
Drivers who flee the scene of an accident and cannot be identified or located are treated the same as uninsured motorists. If you have uninsured motorist coverage under your own auto insurance policy, you may file a claim and seek compensation if you were injured by a hit and run driver.
Call Our Experienced Harrisonburg Hit and Run Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Harrisonburg or the surrounding areas, contact Kendall Law Firm today.
The legal team at Kendall Law Firm has extensive experience helping people like you seek fair compensation for injuries and related losses in accidents caused by other motorists. We will represent you in all dealings with the insurance company.
Kendall Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your rights and legal options. Kendall Law Firm has offices in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Winchester, Staunton, and Woodstock.
The law firm represents clients on a contingency-fee-basis. You won’t owe us anything until we win your case. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by reaching out to us. Call our office, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form now.