Michigan Hit and Run Lawyer
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.
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:
- When a pedestrian is hit by a driver while on the shoulder of a highway or road
- 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
- Drivers who just do not care about those around them, and attempt to ignore the impact of their actions
- People driving while intoxicated, or using other altering substances, who leave the accident in order to avoid arrest
- Criminals driving stolen vehicles, or otherwise evading law enforcement.
- Drivers who unknowingly hit pedestrians or bicyclists
Such accidents account for about 10% of automobile accidents in Michigan.
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.
Filing a Lawsuit
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.
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.
Seeking Legal Help After a Hit and Run Accident
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 (855-645-3946) or email us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We charge no fee unless you receive a settlement.
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