A broken car windshield after a hit and run accident.

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

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.

Author Bio

Tim Miley is the Founder of Miley Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, a West Virginia personal injury law firm he formed in 2006. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, brain injuries, wrongful death, and other personal injury matters.

Tim received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University and is a member of the West Virginia State Bar and the Harrison County Bar Association. He has helped his clients win more than $10 million in personal injury verdicts and settlements and has further served the people of West Virginia by filling legislative roles in the state’s government since 2004.

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