What to Do in the Event of a Hit and Run in West Virginia

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A broken car windshield after a hit and run accident.

Who is going to pay after a hit and run?

If you have been in a car accident and it was due to another driver, the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the costs that you incur.  This is also the case for a hit and run driver, if they are eventually caught.  However, if the other driver is never found and can not be held accountable, there are still other means in which you can be made whole again.

What should I do after a hit and run accident?

The first think that you should do, is make sure that you have received any necessary medical attention.  This includes at the scene and after.  Although you may not have someone to hold responsible immediately, hit and run drivers in most instances, leave a trail that can be followed.  You should not refuse needed medical attention because you may be concerned with the bills that will follow.

After getting necessary medical attentions, you will want to contact law enforcement. Do not leave the scene of the accident, unless medically necessary, until law enforcement has arrived and a police report can be completed.  It is vital that the police complete a crash report.

Will the other driver go to jail?

Provide information to the responding police officer regarding the vehicle or driver. Look around to see if there were any witnesses who could give a license plate number or a description of the vehicle or driver.

If the driver is eventually caught, he or she can face serious penalties. West Virignia recently passed “Erin’s Law.” Erin’s Law was named after a college student, Erin Keener,  who was killed by a hit and run driver. Specifically, under this law, anyone who leaves the scene of an accident that causes death will immediately face a felony charge. But even those accident’s that do not cause death, a driver must remain or face stiff penalties.

Should I contact my insurance company?

Next, it is important to contact your insurance company.  This can be done by you, or through an attorney.  As long as you carry the minimum mandatory uninsured motorist coverage (which is $20,000 per person), it will cover damages up to the policy limits. This will assist you if the at-fault driver is not located or does not have insurance of their own.  That’s because this type of insurance covers injuries stemming from not only an uninsured driver but also one who leaves the scene of an accident.

Hit and run accidents occur more often than most people think.  An immediate reaction to any stressful situation is to flee.  Although, there are laws in place to discourage this action, many drivers are in a state of shock and are scared.  You also run into situations where driver’s may not want to interact with law enforcement for some reason or another.

Remember that you are not alone, many accident victims have gone through similar experiences.  Our office has dealt with hundreds of hit and run accidents and have the experience you need and the information you can rely on to ensure that your are protected and received the compensation you deserve.  Whether you were driving a car or riding a motorcycle, we can assist you.

For help with legal issues after a serious accident – hit and run or otherwise – call The Miley Legal Group at (304) 931-4088 to set up a consultation.

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Written by
Tim Miley
Tim Miley is the founder of The Miley Legal Group. After earning his undergraduate degree in finance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, Tim attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Tim is admitted to practice in all courts in West Virginia and is currently a member of the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Bar Association and the Harrison County Bar Association.
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Our writers only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records, and interviews with qualified experts.