After an accident, it is against the law for a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident to leave the scene of the accident.
MCL257.618(1) states as follows:
“the driver of a vehicle, who knows, or who has reasons to believe that he has been involved in an accident upon public or private property that is open to travel by the public, shall immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall remain there until the requirements of 619 are fulfilled or immediately report the accident to the nearest or most convenient police agency, or officer to fully fulfill the requirements of section 619 if there is a reasonable and honest belief that remaining at the scene will result in further harm. ”
Failure to comply with these requirements will result in offending driver being charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony.
Despite the law, and despite the potential punishments, hit-and-run drivers continue to exist. These accidents leave victims feeling helpless and at a loss for what to do. However, if you have been involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver, you still have various avenues of redress. Therefore you may still be able to get the compensation that you deserve.
Why Leave the Scene of an Accident?
Some reasons why hit and run drivers leave the scene of an accident may include:
- The driver may have an arrest warrant.
- The driver may have no insurance.
- The driver may be intoxicated or on drugs.
- The driver may be in a hurry or running late.
- The driver may have a suspended or revoked license.
- The driver may be panicked or in shock.
There are various other reasons why a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene. Still, leaving the scene of an accident with the others involved in the accident left to deal with the repercussions of the accident is both illegal and morally wrong.
What Do You Do If You Are Involved In a Hit-And-Run Accident?
The first thing you should do is call the police. It is important to gather as many details as possible so that the police can find the hit-and-run driver. For instance, be able to provide a description of the offending car, including its make and model. Also, be able to provide any license plate numbers. The exact location of the accident and any potential sources of video coverage of the accident are also important. Do you have a description of the driver? These are all important and critical facts that could lead the police to find the offending driver more effectively.
It is also critically important for you to notify your insurance company that you have been involved in a hit and run accident. In fact, some auto insurance companies make it a requirement that you notify them within 24 hours of an accident that you have been involved in a hit and run accident.
You Still May Be Covered
It is important to note that, in Michigan, you will still receive your first party no-fault benefits from your auto insurance company regardless of the fact that you are the victim of a hit and run accident. These benefits include:
- Up to three years of wage loss at 85% of your pay.
- Up to three years of assistance around the house with things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, taking out the garbage or other types of household chores that you are no longer able to perform as a result of your auto accident related injuries. This benefit is paid at $20 per day.
- Medical expenses up to the amount of the limit that you paid for in your auto policy.
How Do I Get Compensation for My Pain and Suffering?
In Michigan, uninsured motorist coverage is an optional coverage. This means that you can choose to have uninsured motorist coverage or you can choose to not have an uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage covers you if the at fault driver has no insurance or leaves the scene of an accident (hit and run). Your auto insurance company will step into the shoes of the at fault driver and act as though they were the at fault party. Therefore, you will be able to get compensation for your pain and suffering type damages up to the limits of the amount of uninsured motorist coverage that you purchased from your auto insurance company.
For example, if you purchase $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage, you will be able to be compensated for your pain and suffering type damages from your auto insurance company up to the amount of $100,000.
What If You Find a Hit-And-Run Driver at a Later Date?
As long as the statute of limitations of three years in Michigan has not expired, you will always be able to bring a lawsuit against the at fault driver for your pain and suffering type damages should the driver be located at a later date.
Get Started Today
The experienced attorneys of Femminineo Law stand ready to take your case right now. Give us a call at 855.65.CRASH or contact us on her website getdavidgetpaid.com to get your case started. We will contact you immediately, track down witnesses, hire investigators, and make sure that you get the competition you deserve. Contact us today.