Drivers can panic after striking a pedestrian and drive off. An intoxicated person might not even realize that the vehicle hit a person. Regardless of why the driver departed the accident scene, you still need compensation for your injuries. As a pedestrian hurt in a hit-and-run, you are at a disadvantage when seeking compensation. Nevada personal injury law operates on the basis of fault, and you need to find the at-fault driver who left you on the side of the road. Even so, a car accident attorney might recover damages through your own automobile policy, depending on your coverage, without finding the at-fault party.
Overview of Nevada Hit-and-Run Laws
Authorities take a dim view of people who leave a car accident. Nevada Revised Statutes 484E.020 requires that drivers stop their vehicles after any type of crash. This is necessary to check for injured people. If someone is injured, you need to call for emergency medical assistance. Even in the absence of injuries, you must exchange contact and insurance information with the other people involved.
Driving off from an accident exposes you to a misdemeanor criminal charge if no one was hurt. If anyone was hurt, the law elevates the matter to a felony. Fault for the crash has nothing to do with the criminality of leaving an accident.
Will Police Find the Hit-and-Run Driver?
As a victim of a hit and run, you need to inform law enforcement about what happened as soon as possible. Police make a sincere effort to find these offenders, especially in fatal pedestrian accidents. Officers sometimes succeed, as was the case after a man was killed on Charleston Boulevard.
If police find who hit you, then your Nevada injury lawyer can look into that person’s insurance coverage and assets.
You can aid police in finding a hit-and-run driver by providing any information you can recall, such as the make and color of the vehicle or description of the driver.
Nevada personal injury attorneys also look for surveillance cameras and witnesses at the accident scene. Many homes and businesses have cameras these days, and one or more cameras may have caught images of the vehicle.
When caught, hit-and-run drivers face criminal charges. The criminal charges might influence your claim for damages if the evidence helps to prove that the driver acted negligently.
For the most part, identifying the driver who ran you over gives your injury lawyer in Nevada a much better chance of recovering compensation, as long as the person was insured.
Sources of Compensation for Pedestrians Hurt in Hit-and-Run Accidents
Depending on the extent of your injuries, Nevada personal injury attorneys can seek compensation for many damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
A hit-and-run accident could also introduce the possibility of collecting punitive damages. Where the compensation comes from depends on a couple of variables, the biggest of which is if the police find the hit-and-run driver.
Identity of Hit-and-Run Driver Is Known
If authorities locate the driver who hit you, your accident lawyer in Las Vegas will examine that driver’s insurance coverage. You will learn how much coverage is available for your financial losses, and your Nevada injury lawyer will prepare an insurance claim against the at-fault party.
This process involves collecting evidence that explains the negligence and the cost of your damages. After detailing your losses and right to compensation, your lawyer will negotiate a settlement with the insurer.
When the at-fault party’s insurance policy cannot cover all of your expenses, you might be able to collect money through your own auto insurance to make up the difference.
In some cases, the hit-and-run driver turns out to be someone who was driving while on duty for work. This situation gives you a chance to go after the deeper pockets of an employer who should have a commercial auto policy.
From time to time, a defective auto part could represent the underlying cause of your accident. The driver still bears responsibility for the criminal act of driving off, but the fault for the accident could lie with a parts manufacturer. In that event, you would benefit from the representation of a car accident attorney. You may need expert testimony from mechanics and engineers to build a strong case for compensation.
If settlement negotiations do not succeed, your car accident lawyer in Nevada will discuss with you the option of filing a lawsuit. When you have to file a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident, the jury decides on questions about fault and compensation.
Identity of the Hit-and-Run Driver Is Unknown
Unfortunately, not every victim of a hit-and-run driver succeeds in finding out who was behind the wheel. When this happens, you have no way to make a claim for damages against an at-fault party.
Your auto insurance policy, however, could come to your rescue. It may cover you even if you were hurt as a pedestrian. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage or medical payments coverage (Medpay), then that coverage might pay for some of your bills. You can ask a car accident lawyer in Nevada to examine your policy to see if it could apply to your pedestrian accident.
Get Answers From a Nevada Injury Lawyer
Darren J. Lach has extensive experience as an injury lawyer in Nevada. We dedicate ourselves to helping the injured and surviving family members who need to make a wrongful death claim. Our law office handles complex accident cases and does not shy away from going to court to secure the most compensation possible.
Do not hesitate to consult us after a hit-and-run accident. Our investigation could yield useful results. You only have two years to file a legal claim for your damages. Contact our office for a free consultation right away.