When it comes to a hit and run accident, even in minor cases, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Hit and run cases are unique because more times than not there is no defendant to hold accountable for your injuries and damages, which leaves you at the mercy of your own insurance company. In this scenario, they aren’t usually on your side, or fully there for you like they say they will be.
Having a personal injury attorney to handle your claim is priceless for a number of reasons, some of you may not have even considered. Here are our top five reasons you should never walk into a hit and run claim with your insurance without an experienced personal injury attorney who understands your rights and the laws here in Utah by your side.
1. An Amazing Lawyer Walk You Through Speaking With the Insurance
When a hit and run happen, there are certain steps you should take such as contacting the police, documenting the accident and any injuries, as well as getting seen by a medical professional. Once those steps have been completed it’s time to speak to your insurance.
When you open your claim your insurance company will try to ask questions and get a statement about the events that led to the accident. Oftentimes they will present themselves as caring and sympathetic to your situation, but the truth is the insurance companies are looking for anything to discredit your claim and lower the amount of compensation you receive. They will also record the conversation, and if there is something you don’t mention in this conversation that you find out is an injury later, it can put you at risk for them fighting your claim and coverage.
Speaking to an attorney before speaking with your insurance ensures that what you say in your statement aren’t things that could be used to lower your compensation amount in court. Even your own insurance company will do whatever they can to avoid having to pay out more than they have to, even if that means twisting your words and using them against you.
Having an experienced personal injury attorney to help you speak with the insurance also means utilizing your personal injury protection and uninsured motorist protection to its fullest potential because we will handle getting the insurance company everything they need to assist with your claim.
2. It’s the Lawyer’s Job to Compile ALL of the Evidence
One of the biggest benefits of having a personal injury attorney is their ability to gather evidence and create a case for you. Navigating this part of the process can be difficult to do on your own, and it may feel impossible to know where to start. Having an experienced attorney to take care of this piece, saves you time and stress in the long run, and allows you to focus on your healing.
Not only do we work to gather surveillance footage from around the scene of the accident, but any police reports and eye-witness statements as well. If the defendant cannot be identified, all evidence and documentation that we are able to collect will help us build your case.
Eye-witness testimonies and police reports are important for recreating the scene of the accident and showing the impact the accident has had on your life not only physically but financially as well. Walking into court with a rock-solid case leaves very little for the insurance to try to manipulate, which is exactly what we want.
3. Avoid Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Your Injuries & Vehicle Damage
When you are in a hit and run accident and begin working through the claims process, you may start to notice that you’re at a bit of a disadvantage from the get go. In a non hit and run crash, there are usually two insurances, yours and the defendants, that can contribute to your claim. In a hit and run incident, you are reliant upon your insurance, and your insurance alone.
By choosing to work with an attorney from the get go, you are ensuring that your compensation amount is enough to cover your bills and any other expenses you may have accrued from the accident. As we have worked with insurance companies over the years through hit and run cases we often see that insurance companies are more likely to pay out to those who come prepared to court with their attorney.
Your personal injury attorney will know exactly what to do to avoid the usual tricks insurance companies use to avoid having to pay out a more substantial amount. Once again we want to remind you that your insurance company is not your friend and they will do whatever they can to undermine your case and avoid having to pay you what you are rightfully entitled to.
4. IF the Driver is Identified, Your Attorney Will Help Prove Liability
Proving liability is a central part of any case involving an accident or injury, even in a hit and run accident. If the identity of the person who hit you is known, an experienced personal injury attorney will bring everything to the table needed to be able to prove the other person is liable for the accident and fled the scene.
At Johnson Livingston, our experienced personal injury attorneys do this by compiling eyewitness accounts, police reports, and surveillance footage, or by consulting experts who can recreate the scene of the crash. All of these elements are brought before the judge to prove that you were not liable for the accident taking place and were actually the victim.
By proving liability you are requiring the other party and their insurance, accountable for your injuries and damages. This is an important piece of your claim that ensures you receive the right amount of compensation.
5. Focus on Healing While We Handle The Rest
Believe it or not, having a personal injury attorney involved from the beginning can be a crucial part of your recovery. There is a lot of stress involved in opening a personal injury claim, between gathering evidence, statements, police reports, and more, you may not be in a place mentally or physically to be able to do what is required.
Take into account the amount of time and knowledge you would need to handle a claim on your own. By having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you are allowing your claim to be handled by those who have the knowledge and time to give your case 100%. You will get back the time you would have spent doing it on your own, and use that time to focus on getting better and back to living your life.
Being in a hit and run accident isn’t an experience we want anyone to have to deal with, but unfortunately, these things happen.
If you have been in a hit and run accident and are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney that cares about you, contact Utah’s Best Personal Injury Attorneys, Johnson Livingston today at (801) 948-9670.
We believe in taking the stress and guesswork out of your claim so that you can focus on healing, while we focus on getting you the compensation you deserve.