Hit and Run Accidents
If you are a victim of a hit and run traffic accident, the legal consequences are more severe than in ordinary traffic accidents. The main consequence of a hit-and-run in a civil injury lawsuit is the fact the plaintiff will likely recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are generally available when the person being sued (the “defendant”) intentionally or recklessly causes harm, or acts in a particularly egregious manner.
The person suing (the “plaintiff”) is entitled to damages that compensate him or her for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. These types of damages must be proportionate to the harm caused and are not based on the defendant’s behavior.
Punitive damages, however, are designed to punish and prevent bad conduct by serving as a warning to others. They are calculated not only in proportion to the defendant’s lack of morality, but how much money it would take to effectively punish the defendant. In other words, the richer or poorer the defendant, the higher or lower the punitive damage amount will be.
If you or your loved one was injured as the result of a hit and run accident, there are different ways you may be able to be compensated for the personal injury claim.
If the police or your hit and run accident lawyer can track down the driver of the other vehicle, you can file a claim against the driver’s automobile insurance policy to seek recovery.
If the driver did not have automobile insurance, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance company to recover damages, provided you had uninsured motorist coverage.
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