Have you or a loved one been injured by a hit-and-run driver in St. Louis? Unfortunately, many Missourians are injured in hit-and-run accidents each year. A serious hit-and-run accident is a traumatic event. You may be unable to work and feel angry and frustrated at the situation and unsure where to turn.
Even if you cannot identify the driver who struck you in the hit-and-run accident, you may still have viable options for seeking compensation to help with your medical bills and other expenses. You may be entitled to make a claim through the uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto liability insurance policy.
The car accident attorneys at Sansone & Lauber represent the victims of hit-and-run drivers. Whether your accident involved a car collision, truck accident or motorcycle crash, our attorneys have the experience to guide you through the process of seeking compensation after a hit-and-run accident.
If you have been injured by a hit-and-run driver in St. Louis, you should take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis hit-and-run attorney at Sansone & Lauber.
A hit and run lawyer will review the details of your accident, answer your questions and offer guidance about the steps to take. After any hit-and-run accident involving injuries, it is important to have a clear understanding of your legal options. You should not be held financially responsible for injuries caused by an irresponsible hit-and-run driver. Call today to find out how Sansone & Lauber can help.
What is Hit and Run?
A hit-and-run accident is an accident in which a driver intentionally fails to stop and provide his or her name, driver’s license and insurance information as required by law, after hitting another car or truck, bicyclist, electric scooter, or pedestrian. Missouri law requires that any individual who is involved in a crash causing personal injury or significant property damage must stop in a safe place, render aid to anyone who is injured and provide contact information and insurance information.
You also may be the victim of a hit-and-run accident if a driver swerved suddenly into your lane and forced you off the road —even if the vehicles did not make contact. This is common on poorly designed roadways. The driver who forced you off the road may be a hit-and-run driver.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
If you have been struck by a hit-and-run driver in St. Louis, you should try to get the license plate and description of the car that collided with you if possible. Hit-and-run accidents happen quickly so getting a good description of the make and model of the car and the license plate number is sometimes difficult.
- You should report the accident to police as soon as possible and request emergency medical attention if you or any individual is injured. Give the police the location of the accident and direction the high-and-run driver was headed.
- While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you should try to document the accident by taking photos of the damage to your vehicle and making notes of the time and location of the accident. Collect the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Don’t try to chase the hit-and-run driver. If you leave the scene of the accident, it could complicate your claim.
- Contact your insurance company promptly and report the accident. Missouri law requires that all drivers and vehicle owners maintain uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident in addition to auto liability insurance. Your uninsured motorist policy should provide compensation up to the policy limits for bodily injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver. If your insurance company disputes your claim, you may need to have an experienced St. Louis injury lawyer advocating forcefully for you to get the insurance company to pay the full compensation you should receive.
- If the police apprehend the driver who fled the scene, the hit-and-run driver may face criminal prosecution. But a criminal conviction will not provide compensation for those injured in the accident. You will need to pursue a separate civil lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver or file a claim for compensation against your own insurance company if the driver has no insurance or cannot be identified.
Get Help from a Hit and Run Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact a knowledgeable hit-and-run attorney to discuss your legal rights after a hit-and-run accident. Even if there are no witnesses, surveillance video cameras may have captured the accident on tape. An investigation by an experienced personal injury attorney may find video evidence of the accident to identify the hit-and-run driver.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is a potentially serious criminal offense in Missouri. A driver who drives off without stopping after being involved in an accident may be charged with a criminal misdemeanor or a felony, depending of the specific details of the accident. A hit-and-run driver may be charged with a Class D felony, according to Missouri Statute §577.060, under any of the following conditions:
- If another person was physically injured in the accident;
- If the accident caused property damage, such as damage to vehicles of more than $1,000;
- If the hit-and-run driver had a prior conviction of leaving the scene of an accident.
Hit and Run Lawsuit Settlement
If you are offered an insurance settlement after a hit-and-run accident, you should have our experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys review the settlement before signing anything presented by an insurance company. The attorneys at Sansone & Lauber can discuss the fair value of your hit-and-run accident claim and your legal rights. Our attorneys will stand up for you if you have been harmed by the disregard for safety of another motorist. We will protect your legal rights and prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you. We represent accident victims, not insurance companies. Call us to find out how we can help you.