Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Asheville, NC
Hit-and-run accidents are more common than you may suspect. At least one driver flees the scene of a motor vehicle accident in approximately 1 out of every 10 crashes reported to the police. Hit-and-run accidents cause many serious injuries and fatalities.
Approximately 1,500 people die each year in hit-and-run accidents in the U.S. More than half of those fatally injured in hit-and-run accidents are pedestrians walking, running or crossing a road.
In North Carolina, 36 people died in hit-and-run accidents in 2009, the most recent year of complete data.
If you have been in a collision caused by a hit-and-run driver in North Carolina, your car insurance policy may provide compensation for your injuries, regardless of whether the driver is ever caught and identified.
Many drivers don’t realize that they have uninsured motorists (UM) insurance coverage, though it is required in North Carolina. But even with your UM coverage, there are steps you must promptly take after a car accident to protect your rights. These include reporting the accident to the police and your insurance company and, for best results, contacting an experienced car accident attorney.
It’s unfortunate, but the insurance company – even “your” insurance company – is often the biggest obstacle to obtaining an appropriate settlement after a car accident. The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC can help if you have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident in Western North Carolina. We’ll work to help you obtain a full and proper insurance settlement.
Contact us now by phone or through our online contact form for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
Coverage For Hit-And-Run Accidents In North Carolina
UM insurance is designed to assist drivers and others injured in car accidents caused by unidentified or “hit-and-run” drivers, or drivers who do not have insurance.
Since 2010 in North Carolina, auto insurance policies with the minimum bodily injury coverage ($30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident) and property damage coverage ($25,000) must include UM coverage. Policies with coverage limits greater than the minimum must provide combined uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
North Carolina requires UM insurance to provide bodily injury coverage of a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident, up to $1 million per person and $1 million per accident. It also provides coverage for property damage of a minimum of $25,000 up to $1 million. UM coverage extends to the policyholder, other passengers in the policyholder’s car and family members who live with the policyholder.
For UM coverage to apply to a car accident in our state, there must have been a collision between the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle and the insured’s vehicle. If a hit-and-run driver runs you off the road or instance, and there is no contact between your cars, you may not collect from your UM policy.
What to Do After A Hit-And-Run Accident
Drivers who do not stop after causing a car accident in North Carolina may face felony criminal charges if someone is injured or killed, or a misdemeanor charge for an accident that causes property damage. If you are in a collision caused by a hit-and-run driver, there are steps you should take, like after any car accident, to protect your rights.
First, you should seek emergency assistance if you or anyone else is injured. If emergency medical care is not necessary, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after any car accident. Some serious injuries only begin to exhibit symptoms 24 hours or more after a crash. Having seen a doctor also documents the fact that you were hurt in case you later need to pursue an insurance claim for bodily injury.
After being in a hit-and-run accident, if you can:
- Record what happened and where and when it happened. Record any identifying information you remember about the vehicle that hit you, such as color, make, model, year, the direction it was headed, etc. It’s possible that a security camera saw the whole thing and a recording of your accident can be recovered.
- Record names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident, including your passengers.
- Photograph your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
- Report the accident to the police and to your car insurance company. Some insurance companies require that a hit-and-run be reported to the police within 24 hours.
Do not accept any offer or sign a statement from your insurance company immediately after reporting a hit-and-run accident. You could be giving up your right to compensation. An early insurance offer cannot, in most cases, take into account all of the costs of your injuries and is certain to be less than you deserve.
An experienced Western North Carolina car accident attorney can provide significant help after you have been in a hit-and-run accident. An attorney from The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC can help you account for all of your losses from a hit-and-run accident and ensure that your UM insurance payment meets all of its obligations as well as your needs.
Hurt In A Hit-And-Run Accident? Find Out How Our Asheville Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Western North Carolina, The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC can help you. Our car accident attorney has investigated hit-and-run cases in Asheville, Buncombe County and throughout Western North Carolina and have dealt successfully with insurance companies and UM policies.
Contact us by phone or fill out our online contact form to set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation about your case today.
- North Carolina Department of Insurance – Consumers Guide to Automobile Insurance