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A hit-and-run is arguably the most frustrating of auto accidents. Victims often wonder where to turn for financial compensation and how to hold the driver liable if identified. When you have questions about your case and how personal injury law in Michigan applies to the specific circumstances of your incident, a hit-and-run lawyer can walk you through the process and protect your interests along the way.

Do You Need a Hit-and-Run Lawyer?


If you suffered severe injuries, significantly impacting your financial, physical and emotional health, you might need help accessing and understanding the avenues to compensation allotted by Michigan car accident law. When the stakes are high, an experienced attorney offers professional and personal support. Consider some common reasons hit-and-run accidents happen and how a lawyer can help with your case.

Common Reasons for Hit-and-Run Accidents

Hit-and-runs frequently occur in Michigan, and the original crash is almost always the result of negligence followed by panic, causing the driver to dash rather than face accountability. Some of the most common occurrences of a driver hitting someone and running involve the following:

  • The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, severely obstructing their driving and reasoning skills.
  • The driver was distracted, often due to talking and texting while driving, which can be as dangerous as driving under the influence.
  • The driver was in a stolen vehicle or fleeing law enforcement.
  • The driver is reckless and does not care about harming innocent people.
  • The driver hit a bicyclist or pedestrian either with the vehicle or the side mirror.

Accidents involving pedestrians and other non-motorists can be more complex. Sometimes the driver does not even realize they struck someone, especially if the accident did minimal or no damage to their vehicle or they were inattentive at the time. Every case has unique circumstances, some of which could affect how you approach legal action. For this reason, you may need to hire an attorney to guide you.

What Does a Hit-and-Run Lawyer Do?


Suppose you contact a lawyer practicing in Michigan and have your initial consultation. Once you decide to work together, what will a hit-and-run attorney do to assist you and your claim? Of course, the specific contributions they make to your case can vary based on the unique circumstances of the accident. Still, there are some overarching elements of the position as your legal representative.

Gathering Supportive Evidence

If law enforcement catches the person responsible for hitting you, that driver will likely face criminal charges. Hit-and-runs are illegal in Michigan. However, a civil case is separate from a criminal one, and in civil court, you are responsible for providing evidence to prove liability. Your attorney will investigate the accident, sometimes using sophisticated techniques to establish all the legal requirements necessary to prove liability.

They will also assemble supportive evidence linking your injuries to the accident and proving damages. Some documentation a hit-and-run accident lawyer may use include the following:

  • Medical records and bills to show dates doctor-ordered treatments
  • Testimonies from healthcare professionals establishing how your injuries could affect your mental and physical health
  • Pay stubs and tax returns to show how your injuries affect your ability to earn income as you did before the accident
  • Statements from people you know who can testify to changes in your quality of life since the accident

The more substantial your supportive evidence is, the better your chances are of securing a fair settlement.

Handling Communications and Protecting Your Rights

Most hit-and-run victims recover compensation through an insurance policy. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult, particularly when avoiding a substantial payout. Your attorney will handle all communications and negotiations so you can focus on healing. They protect you from common unfair practices:

  • Delaying an investigation into your claim
  • Denying your claim without providing a valid reason
  • Changing or misrepresenting the policy to make it work in the company’s best interests
  • Dodging your attempts to communicate and resolve the claim
  • Attempting to bait you into admitting guilt on a recorded line to diminish the company’s financial responsibility

Sometimes adjusters will even use harsh language or attempt to frustrate you into giving up on your claim. You can avoid all that unnecessary stress by allowing your hit-and-run lawyer to take over as a representative.

What Should You Do When a Hit-and-Run Happens?


If you or a loved one suffered injuries or property damage in a hit-and-run incident, you first contact the police. If it occurred in a public place, such as a surveilled parking lot, they might be able to access security footage and identify the at-fault driver.

Then, you can report the accident to your insurance company. Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state. Therefore, all licensed drivers with an operational vehicle must purchase personal injury protection insurance to cover medical expenses and lost income in the event of an accident. The benefit of PIP coverage is that you can skip the at-fault system that can be challenging in a hit-and-run case and access funds to support the financial burdens associated with the case.

The disadvantage is that it does not cover all your losses, including the non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. If you suffered severe injuries, you could turn to the fault-based system for more comprehensive coverage of your losses.

Information You Want To Collect if Possible

At the scene, you can collect information that could help the police pursue the driver and the hit-and-run lawyer build a solid case for liability. Some critical information includes:

  • The names, phone numbers and email addresses of any potential eyewitnesses
  • Information about the vehicle that hit you, including the license plate number, color, make and model
  • A description of the driver or any passengers in the vehicle
  • The direction the driver went

Did the vehicle have any distinguishing characteristics? For example, did they have bumper stickers, apparent exterior damage or window decals? If you were able to take photographs, share those with the police and your attorney.

Can You Sue Someone for a Hit-and-Run?


Once you locate the driver, you can file a personal injury lawsuit through your local civil court. If you suffered severe injuries, your PIP insurance might not be sufficient to cover your losses. In Michigan, you can bypass the PIP requirement and sue for all related damages if the accident caused a serious impairment, permanent disfigurement or death, or if the driver was not a Michigan resident. Additionally, Michigan’s no-fault policy would not apply if the accident occurred in another state.

When Should You Schedule a Free Consultation With a Hit-and-Run Lawyer?


It is never too soon to contact a hit-and-run lawyer to help you build your case and get the justice and compensation you deserve. Even if your situation does not warrant legal representation, the attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm can offer you peace of mind and answer your questions. The Michigan civil court is on your side, and our experienced team of personal injury lawyers helps people find an avenue to compensation daily. Our firm never takes on more than we can handle, allowing us to provide diligent representation for Michigan auto accident victims. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm at (855) 679-1207 to schedule your free case review today.

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