When we discuss motor vehicle accidents on this blog, we usually talk about personal injury lawsuits involving a negligent driver. The basic legal concept behind these cases holds that if a driver causes an accident through negligence, and someone else is hurt as a result, the injured party may hold the negligent driver liable for their damages. But what if you can’t find the negligent driver? What if you were injured by a hit-and-run driver?
The first thing to note about hit-and-run accidents is that it, under Louisiana law, it is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident in which someone was seriously injured or killed without at least providing their name, address and vehicle license number. These drivers must report the accident to the police. A person who leaves the scene of such an accident can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $5,000. They can have their license suspended and face other penalties and charges as well.
Police are good at finding hit-and-run drivers, especially if there were witnesses who caught the driver’s license plate or other identifying information. However, there are cases where the negligent driver is not caught. What can you do if you were injured by a hit-and-run driver who got away?
In these cases, the injured are unable to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver they can’t find. Instead, they must rely on their own health and car insurance to get compensation for their medical expenses and car repair or replacement costs.
A good insurance company will cover all these costs, but policyholders should always remember that insurance companies have an interest in minimizing the amount they give out. Sometimes, the injured and their families need to dispute an amount and negotiate better terms. For this kind of dispute, it can be important to have help from an experienced personal injury attorney.