Hopefully, the person who hit you and caused your injuries will make his or her identity known. The law does state that a person must stop at the scene of an accident and render assistance. However, it is possible that a person will not stop or will not report the accident until hours or days after it happens. What should you do if you don’t know who caused your accident?
Gather Whatever Evidence That You Can
Even if you don’t know who hit you, it is important that you gather as much evidence as possible. This can be used by police, your insurance company and your personal injury lawyer to help in the search to find whoever caused the accident. At the very least, take photos and get witness statements if anyone saw the crash. If you don’t remember what happened, look for camera footage or anything else that documented the events just before, during and after it took place.
Contact Your Insurance Company
In the event that you don’t know who hit you, it will be necessary to file a claim on your own policy. Your insurance company may choose to simply take a statement and decline to pay out your claim until the person who was responsible for the accident is found. However, if that person is never found, you may be entitled to compensation under your comprehensive or uninsured motorist coverage. If the person who hit you is found, the insurance company will likely go after that person in court or try to get compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider.
Other Parties May Be Liable for Damages
If your accident took place in a parking lot, the owner of the property where the lot is located may be liable for damages. A government agency may be to blame if the accident took place on a poorly maintained road. It is also possible that maker of your vehicle was partially responsible for your injuries. Therefore, your personal injury attorney may be able to file a personal injury case even if the driver of the other vehicle or vehicles involved aren’t immediately known.
It Is Worth Filing a Lawsuit Anyway
Even if you aren’t sure who the person who caused your accident is, it may be a good idea to state your intention to file a lawsuit as soon as possible. This preserves your rights and makes sure that any statutes of limitation do not expire. If the party who hurt you is eventually found, you can get the legal process started quickly. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the person who hit you or with other parties responsible for the crash.
What If the Other Driver Faces Criminal Charges?
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. Causing injury or death in a motor vehicle accident may also be a criminal offense depending on the circumstances of the crash. However, the result of any criminal case against whoever hurt you is not relevant in your civil case.
Essentially, you are entitled to compensation even if another party is cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. This may happen if the driver left the scene because he or she didn’t realize an accident occurred or didn’t think it was serious enough to stop for.
No matter what the circumstances of your accident are, don’t be afraid to talk to an attorney about your situation as soon as possible. It may make it easier to find the driver who hurt you or start the legal process whatever it may entail. Most personal injury attorneys will consult with you for free, so there is no need to let money stand in the way of determining your legal options.