Hit and Run Accidents
Any automobile accident can be traumatizing for a victim, but a hit and run can be especially troubling for an injured person who is left to deal with the aftermath. Georgia law outlines specific duties and responsibilities for a driver in the event of a wreck. People who fail to abide by these laws can be held liable for their actions. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a careless driver in the Marietta area, we can help. The car wreck attorneys at Miller Legal Services can offer the legal representation you need to assert your right to compensation.Hit and Run Accidents
In the state of Georgia, hit and run is a serious crime and can even result in felony charges. All drivers involved in an automobile accident are required to immediately stop at the scene if the event caused injury, death, or damage to a vehicle. Each motorist has a duty to provide the other with his or her personal information, including names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers. Drivers also have an obligation to render aid or get help if someone is seriously hurt. This typically involves calling 911 and requesting an ambulance to transport the injured party to the hospital.
A driver who knowingly fails to stop after an accident will likely face a misdemeanor charge for a hit and run, provided that nobody suffered serious or fatal injuries. Penalties for a misdemeanor hit and run charge include a potential fine of between $300 and $1,000, as well as possible jail time for up to 12 months. The driver could also face a license suspension or probation. Someone who leaves the scene of an accident that results in serious or fatal injuries may face a felony charge, which leads to a longer prison sentence.Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable for Your Injuries
If a hit and run driver is caught, the victim can file a civil lawsuit against him or her under the theory of negligence. This type of claim allows the injured person to seek monetary compensation for his or her harm. Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care behind the wheel, resulting in foreseeable harm to someone else. To assert the right to compensation, the victim must establish the following elements:
- The defendant owed the injured person a duty of care;
- The defendant breached the duty with some careless conduct;
- The defendant’s carelessness caused the accident; and
- The victim was forced to incur quantifiable damages as a result.
In most types of car accidents, such as a hit and run, the duty of care is defined as what the typical, reasonably prudent person would do when faced with a similar situation. Since the ordinary motorist likely would obey Georgia laws and stop after being involved in an accident, a hit and run driver probably has fallen short of this standard and thus breached the duty. It can be challenging to draw a direct causal link from leaving the scene to causing the harm, for the injuries often resulted from a collision that happened before the defendant fled. Even if this is the case, however, it is logical to think that a driver who committed a hit and run may have done so because he or she violated a traffic rule or engaged in some other form of negligent behavior. A seasoned attorney can help investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine what may have happened.
Depending on the nature and extent of his or her injuries, a victim who succeeds in a negligence lawsuit may be able to recover reimbursement for hospital bills, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, property damage, and any other costs arising from the wreck. In accidents involving a hit and run driver, punitive damages can also be awarded. The compensation can be awarded over time or in a single lump sum amount.Contact a Marietta Attorney to Discuss Your Auto Accident
If you have been hurt because another driver acted negligently, you should consider contacting an auto accident lawyer who regularly handles these claims near Marietta and is willing to bring a lawsuit if necessary. At Miller Legal Services, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll this type of event can take on you and your entire family. For more information, call us at 770-284-3727 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have proudly served injured individuals in Roswell, Smyrna, and throughout Georgia.