Fighting for the Victims of Hit and Runs Since 1993
Hit-and-run accidents are unnervingly common, and many Kansas City residents are injured in them every year. If you were the victim of a hit and run, you may be wondering how you can seek accountability since you do not know the identity of the negligent driver. Fortunately, there is a way to pursue justice with the help of an attorney.
At Peterson & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have successfully pursued hit-and-run accident cases for nearly 30 years. If you work with our firm, we can help you make informed decisions about your legal options and guide you down the most effective path to compensation, which may seem muddled when you are unsure of who perpetrated the hit and run. Don’t let the very nature of hit and runs get in the way of recovering your fair compensation.
What Happens After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?
Investigating a Hit and Run
Unfortunately, many of the nation’s hit and runs are left unsolved, which means you may have a slim chance of identifying the at-fault driver. This may seem to present a significant barrier to obtaining compensation, as you cannot sue someone who you do not know the identity of.
Should you hire a lawyer at Peterson & Associates, P.C., we will work to identify the perpetrator and:
- Locate and consult witnesses;
- Analyze surveillance footage and tapes;
- Work with law enforcement officers in their investigation; and
- Look into potential reasons why the perpetrator fled (e.g. drunk, reckless, or distracted driving).
In the event that it is not possible to find the perpetrator, there is an alternative path to compensation that is often effective for many hit-and-run victims: filing a lawsuit against your insurance company.
Suing Your Insurance Company After a Hit and Run
Before legal action is taken, the first step will be to file an insurance claim with your insurance provider. A hit-and-run accident will likely fall under your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: Because you were not given the chance to obtain the hit-and-run perpetrator’s insurance information, they are considered uninsured for all intents and purposes.
Nevertheless, insurance agents are likely to claim that a hit-and-run victim does not qualify for coverage because the other driver is unknown and, therefore, you cannot truly know whether they were uninsured. This is, however, nothing but faulty reasoning. If you continue to run into trouble with your insurance company, a lawyer can assist you in suing it for damages.
To be eligible to file a hit-and-run lawsuit against your insurance company, you will have to prove the following elements:
- You (the insured) sustained bodily injuries: To prove your injuries, you will likely need to present your medical records and/or any other documentation of your injuries and required medical treatment.
- The bodily injuries resulted from an accident with an uninsured motorist: As mentioned, if the identity of the perpetrator is unknown, they are presumed uninsured.
- You have a legal right to collect from the uninsured: The fact that you were a victim of a hit-and-run accident grants you the right to collect from the at-fault party for which the insurance company is standing in.
- The amount of a payout or settlement will exhaust all limits of the applicable insurance policy: This simply means the amount of damages you incurred as a result of the accident will exhaust your policy limits. For hit and runs, the applicable insurance policy is your UM coverage.
Time Limits on Hit-and-Run Cases
No matter how much an insurance company attempts to go back and forth on a hit-and-run claim, it only has 30 days to investigate it under state law. Insurance agents are skilled in handling claims quickly and with their employer’s best interests at heart, so you can expect some trouble in the form of deductions being piled onto your claim or, in some cases, the full denial of your claim.
If insurance agents continue to ignore your right to compensation, spurring you to take legal action, you only have so long to do so. Under the Missouri statute of limitations, hit-and-run victims only have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against their insurance company.
How Much Can You Get from a Hit-and-Run Lawsuit?
You can only recover compensation for damages you have suffered as a direct result of the hit-and-run injury, meaning the value of a lawsuit will vary depending on how severe the injury was and what damages accumulated because of it. Therefore, this is a very complicated question to answer, as any given case could range anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars.
Work with Knowledgeable Accident Lawyers
In pursuing your case, our legal team at Peterson & Associates, P.C. will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the accident. If we are unable to identify the perpetrator of the hit and run, then we will assist you in negotiating with your insurance company to ensure that you are not stuck with a lowball settlement. We are fully prepared to leverage the advantage you have as the injured party to your benefit and to fight to recover your maximum compensation for any damages accumulated.
What Our Clients Are Saying
We are proud to establish long standing relationships with our clients and we pride ourselves on offering quality, personalized, confident representation to all of our clients.
Team did a great job resolving my injury case- Daniel G.
They were instrumental in saving my life.- Kathy
I’m a witness to how wonderful they are as a law firm.- Larry
Peterson & Associates, P.C. heard me and made sure I was not taken advantage of.- Lee
I would definitely recommend Peterson & Associates- Leesa
They get the job done- Theresa
Choosing Our Team
Many people that have been injured in car accidents are unsure of where to start with a legal claim. Our team of highly trained lawyers can help to review the details of your crash and guide you through the process. Below, learn more about the attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C., their results, and contingency fees.