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Seeking Legal Help After a Hit and Run Accident

Accidents are always frustrating and, by definition, not what we expect. This may be compounded when the party at fault leaves the seen, a hit and run. Briefly, a hit and run accident is one in which a party causes and accident and flees the seen.

Someone engaging in a legal process should always seek help from an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer. This is no different in a hit and run scenario. The various laws, including the time frames imposed by the statute of limitations, can be easy to overlook without experience. At the Mike Morse Law Firm, our team of car accident lawyers in Michigan have years of practice and have helped many clients in and out of the courtroom to obtain the best result. Victims of hit and run, and any other auto accidents, are encouraged to contact our office to discuss the process and learn how we can get you the highest settlement.

Contact us anytime 24/7 at 855-MIKE-WINS (855-983-0063) or email us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We charge no fee unless you receive a settlement.

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What to do After a Hit and Run Accident

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Trusted and Recommended

I’d like to thank Mr. Morse and the entire staff for the wonderful job they all did in bringing me such a large settlement. I will recommend this law firm to any and all who may inquire about the matters of personal injury. I’d like to thank Julie and Debbie for all their calls and contributing work, and JoAnn. God bless you all.

Larry A.

Every person I was in contact with made me feel like I was important. The accident changed my life in a second. What do you do? Who can help you? I have no income now. Huge medical bills. Mike got on it within days. It was a true comfort to have them all backing me up.

Lisa H.

“Trisha was great at answering all of my questions. I didn’t waste any time and just went with the best. The haven’t managed to build such a reputable brand for no apparent reason, obviously they do a great job for their clients.”

Mike C.

Hit and Run FAQ

What are the Rights Following a Hit and Run?

When you are the victim of a hit and run, you may be entitled to benefits under Michigan’s No-Fault Act, including medical bill payments, replacement services, and lost wages. It is also possible to recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other non-economic losses.

Under Michigan’s No-Fault Act, a victim of a hit and run auto accident is entitled to the same benefits as any other auto accident victim, though determining the party responsible for paying those rights might be confusing.

How to File a Lawsuit for Hit and Run?

When the responsible party leaves the scene of the accident, once found, they may find themselves subject to a criminal action. They might also face a civil action by the victim. Successfully litigating a hit and run action requires proving that the alleged offending party is responsible. Proving responsibility becomes easier when the offender is identified, caught, and convicted criminally. However, there are still rights and options even when the offender is not caught.

If the driver is identified, a lawsuit may then be filed against the driver and the owner of the vehicle. The matter continues as a usual No-Fault action, without much, if any distinction.

If, however, the driver is not identified, the victim may still be entitled to No-Fault benefits from their insurance provider, of the insurance provided to a family member with whom they live. The policy of either the victim, or the resident family member, must include an uninsured motorist provision. Many uninsured motorist policies require a police report. To avoid forfeiting the policy, the victim should report the accident as soon as possible.

What are the Common Instances of Hit and Runs?

There may be any number of ways in which this might occur. Some of the most common forms of hit and run accidents are the following:

  1. When a pedestrian is hit by a driver while on the shoulder of a highway or road

  2. A driver, not paying attention to the road, i.e., distracted by a phone, a conversation, music, etc., hits another vehicle or person, and continues

  3. Drivers who just do not care about those around them, and attempt to ignore the impact of their actions

  4. People driving while intoxicated, or using other altering substances, who leave the accident in order to avoid arrest

  5. Criminals driving stolen vehicles, or otherwise evading law enforcement.

  6. Drivers who unknowingly hit pedestrians or bicyclists

Such accidents account for about 10% of automobile accidents in Michigan.

What are the Expected Outcomes?

As with any litigation, predictions related to a hit and run related lawsuit are difficult and depend upon multiple factors. That being said, injuries sustained, medical treatments, at home care, and the permanence of the injuries should all be taken into consideration when pursuing resolution. Even in an uninsured motorist claim, pain and suffering damages, such as mental anguish, lost income, disability, etc., might be available, just as they would with an identified driver.

Do You Still Have a Hit and Run Case if You Were Jaywalking?

Read more: Do You Still Have a Hit and Run Case if You Were Jaywalking?

Pedestrians have a responsibility to follow traffic laws when walking on Michigan roads. Even so, a jaywalker may have an accident claim after a collision with a hit and run driver.

What Is Jaywalking?

Jaywalking means crossing or walking in the street illegally. If a person walks across a road outside of a designated crosswalk or crosses when there is a “Don’t Walk” sign, the person is jaywalking.

Michigan does not have a specific statewide law against jaywalking. Instead, each local jurisdiction creates its own ordinances and enforces them as it sees fit.

Why Is It Called Jaywalking?

The word “jaywalker” springs from the old expression “jay-driver,” which was someone who drove a carriage on the wrong side of the road. (“Jay” meant a foolish or ignorant person.) People began to say those who walked on the left side of the sidewalk were “jaywalking.”

Before automobiles appeared, people roamed the streets freely and could more easily dodge oncoming carriages. As cars became more popular, pedestrian fatalities grew.

For safety, lawmakers designated crosswalks for foot traffic on roads. Government safety posters spoke out against jaywalking, now referring to someone mindlessly crossing the middle of the street, and the term caught on.

What Do You Do After a Hit and Run Accident if You Were Jaywalking?

Pedestrian hit and run victims should talk to a capable lawyer to determine their rights and options. A driver may have some liability for an accident with a jaywalker. If the motorist was negligent in any way, that person must cover the appropriate percentage of damages to the injured pedestrian.

Though jaywalking is illegal, a hit and run is a more serious offense that brings felony charges. Drivers must stop, check others for injuries and exchange information after an accident. A fleeing motorist who struck a jaywalker likely has a level of negligence.

Regardless of who is responsible, Michigan’s no-fault laws cover pedestrians in an auto accident, either through the driver’s insurance, a family member’s coverage or the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

Is it Worth Hiring a Hit and Run Lawyer?

Read more: Is It Worth Hiring a Hit And Run Lawyer?

Hit-and-run accidents are becoming more dangerous. The number of fatalities they cause across the U.S. has increased by 26% since 2019. In Michigan, 54 people died in hit-and-run crashes in 2019 and more than 1,300 experienced injuries.

Failing to stop after a car accident is illegal in Michigan, and if caught, the person can face misdemeanor or felony charges. That doesn’t deter some people from fleeing the scene anyway. What are your options if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident?

No-Fault Insurance

Michigan is a no-fault insurance state. It means that if you’re in an accident resulting in damages, you file a claim with your own insurance company. Hopefully, your policy will cover all your expenses, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

However, if your expenses cost more than your policy limits, you may be left with unpaid bills. This may be your situation if you sustained severe injuries in the accident and have high medical bills, time away from work and lost wages.

Finding the Driver

Finding a hit-and-run driver is possible. Law enforcement can use surveillance cameras, search for evidence or interview witnesses to track down the person who caused the accident. If they find the driver, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. This step can help you recover damages not covered by your insurance policy.

If you cannot find the driver, you can consult a hit-and-run lawyer. An attorney can begin an investigation. If your attorney locates the party, you can get compensation for the losses beyond your insurance coverage.

Whether you need help finding the at-fault driver, want to file a claim or have other questions, a hit-and-run attorney can help. You can also call for a free consultation to determine if you have a claim.

In the days and weeks that follow a hit and run, it is common to feel anxious and overwhelmed. You deserve compensation for the pain and suffering you have suffered following your injuries, but the process to file a claim, communicate with insurance companies, and understand your legal options may feel like too much to handle alone.

That is why the team at Mike Morse Law Firm is here to help 24/7. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with legal representation they can rely on, and we are always ready to go the distance to help our clients.

Need answers? We are available to answer all the questions you may have, including information on your insurance policies, the statute of limitations for claims in Michigan, and whether or not you should file a lawsuit after your accident.

With over 25 years of experience in defending personal injury victims, we are well-versed in Michigan laws and have the resources and knowledge needed to fight for you. Let our local hit and run lawyers put their expertise to work for you and your family.

Call us today at 855-MIKE-WINS to talk with one of our hit and run lawyers in a free consultation. We are also available 24/7 by text at 833-898-6453.

What Damages Can I Get for a Hit and Run Accident?

Read more: What Damages Can I Get for a Hit and Run Accident?

All accidents are different, causing varying degrees of injuries, property damage and lingering effects. The amounts of compensation you may receive varies, but there are three available categories of damages in Michigan.

Economic Damages

Injured victims will likely incur many expenses as a result of their accidents. Economic damages reimburse qualifying expenses, including:

  • Medical treatments, hospital stays, rehabilitation, medications and necessary medical equipment
  • Lost wages due to time away from work
  • Replacement services, such as the costs of hiring caregivers or people to perform tasks
  • Property damage

Your Mike Morse legal team will need copies of bills and receipts. You may be eligible to obtain compensation for future lost wages and medical costs.

Non-Economic Damages

Hit-and-run accidents can cause lingering wounds that aren’t always physical. Non-economic damages compensate victims for things like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental issues like PTSD, anxiety and depression
  • Inconvenience
  • Losing the ability to enjoy life
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement

These conditions affect some victims more than others, and compensation amounts are typically higher for those with more significant disruption to their lives.

Exemplary Damages

Michigan sometimes awards exemplary damages to injured victims to compensate for the guilty party’s despicable conduct. Not many victims qualify for these damages.

How Does Modified Comparative Negligence Affect Damages?

At times, injured victims may be partially responsible for causing their accidents. An investigation will assign a percentage of fault to each contributing party in an accident.

Michigan uses modified comparative negligence rules in these cases to determine how much compensation you can receive. If you’re more than 50% to blame for causing your accident, you can’t obtain non-economic damages. However, you can still seek economic damages.

Your percentage of fault reduces the damages you can obtain by the same degree. For instance, if your assigned fault is 20%, your damages are reduced by 20%.

Your Mike Morse legal team will fight to ensure that the degree of fault assigned to you is fair.

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Additional Hit and Run Resources

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