Hit and Run Accidents In South Carolina
Skilled car crash lawyers in South Carolina who are committed to fighting for the rights and the rightful compensation of those injured by negligent motorists who hit and run
Car accidents are terrible, terrifying, and dangerous affairs, but when they also involve a driver who hits and runs, they are much worse. When a negligent driver simply abdicates the responsibility he or she owes others – not to mention common decency – and drives off in response to causing a car accident, it makes every challenge related to that car accident that much more difficult. If a hit and run driver has injured you, it’s time to consult with an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney.
Finding the At-Fault Driver
It used to be that finding an at-fault motorist after a hit and run accident and filing the car accident claim through his or her insurance carrier was a hit-or-miss proposition at best – and often simply didn’t happen. Now, however, everyone at every car accident scene everywhere has a smartphone at the ready, and those reckless drivers who have the nerve to flee are far less likely to slip away unnoticed. If a hit and run driver leaves you injured, there are things that you can do to help ensure that the motorist responsible for your damages is found.
Pay Close Attention
You’ve been injured and are exceptionally vulnerable, which makes taking on any additional tasks difficult. However, making a mental note of everything you do notice about the other driver can go a long way toward helping to ultimately identify the at-fault motorist. Keep the following in mind:
- Note anything you can remember about the driver himself or herself (height, weight, hair color, and distinguishing characteristics)
- Note anything you can remember about the vehicle in question (make, model, color, condition, distinguishing characteristics, and age)
- Note any portion of the driver’s license plate that you see and can remember
If an eyewitness shoots a video of the accident itself (or its aftermath), it can prove invaluable. Ultimately, you want to share absolutely everything you remember about the driver in question with the officer who attends the scene and with your dedicated car crash attorney. With a savvy lawyer on your side, you increase your chances of finding the negligent motorist who left you injured and of recovering fully on your damages.
Every Motorist’s Responsibility
Every driver who is involved in a car accident that results in car damage and/or injury is required to stop and do all of the following:
- Stop at the scene
- Call 911 (or the authorities if it isn’t an emergency)
- Render aid if it’s needed and it’s possible to do so
- Share license, insurance, and contact information with the other driver involved
- Wait for emergency personnel to arrive
Hit and run drivers skip out on all of these responsibilities and leave anyone who is injured by their negligence to fend for themselves, which makes the already challenging situation that much more so.
If the Driver Is Found
A driver who flees the scene of an accident often does so in an attempt to hide his or her obvious negligence in the matter (or to disassociate from it). Such negligence often takes one of the following forms:
- Excess speed
If the driver is found, however, it can make proving his or her fault in the matter less daunting (fleeing often translates to an admission of guilt). Ultimately, if the at-fault driver is found, your car accident claim will proceed in the same way that every other claim does. One notable exception is that in addition to the typical damages car accident victims can pursue, you can seek punitive damages against the hit and run driver. These are intended to punish the motorist who caused you to be injured and then recklessly fled the scene (without concern for your well-being).
If the Driver Is Not Found
If the driver who leaves you injured is not found, you will need to turn to your uninsured motorist (UM) policy to compensate you for your covered losses. Uninsured coverage extends to unidentified drivers who take off in the aftermath of accidents. In South Carolina, UM coverage is required, which means that if the at-fault driver is never identified, you should have some level of coverage in place. Your car accident attorney will advise you on the best path forward.
The damages wrought by a serious car accident tend to be extensive and are categorized as follows:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering, which is likely to be exacerbated by the fact that the at-fault driver left the scene
- Punitive damages against the at-fault driver
Punitive damages that are intended to punish aren’t common to personal injury claims like car accidents, but when a driver hits and runs, he or she is considered legally aware of having willfully ignored the duty of care owed and, therefore, worthy of punishment. Punitive damages are designed to not only punish the at-fault party but also to serve as a warning that may dissuade others from engaging in similarly egregious practices. Finally, punitive damages are calculated to effectively punish the at-fault driver, which means that the greater his or her assets, the higher the punitive damages. Other types of compensation, on the other hand, must be proportionate with the actual damages suffered.
Reach out to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Charleston Today
If a driver causes you to be injured and then flees the scene, the devastation caused can be difficult to overstate. The compassionate South Carolina car accident attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to harnessing their impressive experience in zealous pursuit of your claim’s most favorable resolution. Your case is important, and we’re here to help, so please don’t wait to contact or call us at 843-548-1574 to schedule your free case evaluation today.