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Being injured in an auto accident is already painful and traumatic. But it can be even worse when the other driver flees the scene, leaving you with no one to blame and perhaps no recourse for getting compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
However, you don’t even have to be a victim of an actual hit-and-run to end up in this scenario. A similar situation called a “miss-and-run” happens every day throughout the U.S., and it puts victims in just as difficult of a scenario.
The gist is this: A driver swerves in front of you, cuts you off, accelerates extremely fast behind you, or runs a red light while you’re passing through an intersection. The result is that you’re forced to swerve, slam on your brakes, or make an otherwise erratic maneuver to get out of the way, causing you to crash into another vehicle or a stationary object.
The other driver continues on their way, but you’re stuck with injuries, a damaged vehicle, and a mountain of bills related to the crash. At this point, you’re a victim of a miss-and-run, and you need an experienced lawyer on your side right away to protect your rights.
You typically have two avenues of getting compensation after this type of accident:
Calling a law firm soon after the crash can increase your chances of getting compensation, as you’ll be able to pursue damages through the avenue most likely to get you paid.
For example, you may be better off trying to get money from your own insurance policy depending on your type of coverage and supplements. Or, if there’s plenty of evidence, you may be better off waiting for the miss-and-run driver to be located and filing a claim against them.
As with hit-and-run crashes, miss-and-run incidents should be investigated by police. After calling 911 and waiting for emergency responders and police to arrive, give as much information about the vehicle and driver that caused the miss-and-run as possible. Details such as the make, model, and color of the car can help, as can even partial license plate information or other identifying details, such as damage, decals, and out-of-state plates.
In addition, witness statements, dashcam footage, surveillance footage, and other types of evidence can play a big role in helping to track down drivers who cause miss-and-runs. Unfortunately, miss-and-runs can pose an extra challenge to investigators as the vehicles driven by the suspects typically don’t sustain damage or leave behind evidence such as debris, skid marks, or body/paint damage on the other vehicles.
If the other driver is located and there’s plenty of evidence to prove that they are at fault, your claim will play out like a typical auto accident claim. However, if there’s a lack of evidence, or if the driver isn’t located at all, either the other driver’s insurer or your own insurer may be uncooperative.
It can be difficult to get full compensation if the insurance company believes you were partially or fully at fault for your own crash, and it may appear that way if you’re lacking evidence or you were the only person to sustain injuries and property damage in the crash. After all, saying “he cut me off!” about an unidentified driver isn’t always the most compelling argument.
Our attorneys understand this challenge, and we’re prepared to handle it head-on. Don’t risk getting denied the compensation you deserve after a crash caused by someone else, even if they fled the scene without damage or injuries of their own. Contact the Ohio auto accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy today for a free consultation.
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