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I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?

Ratton Law Group PC Nov. 27, 2023

Car escaping following a collision with a pedestrianUnder Michigan laws, a driver involved in a traffic accident that causes an injury must offer reasonable assistance in getting medical aid or transport the victims to a medical facility. However, some non-compliant drivers may intentionally run away from the scene of the auto crash to avoid getting arrested or holding liability. As a result, they will leave the accident victims in a precarious situation and without any medical help or information. 

If you or someone you know were hurt in a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to pursue fair compensation for your injuries. At Ratton Law Group PC, we have the diligence and expertise to guide and represent clients in their hit-and-run accident cases. Our reliable Michigan personal injury attorneys can examine all of the facts of your unique circumstances, explore your possible options to recover damages, and help pursue your deserved financial justice. We're proud to serve clients across Detroit, Michigan. 

Michigan is a No-Fault Insurance State  

Michigan is a "no-fault" state for auto accidents. According to the state's no-fault system, the accident victim will turn to their own insurance policy – known as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage – to recover damages without proving fault. Essentially, the PIP coverage will pay for the person's medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket losses up to the coverage limit. 

Requirements When an Accident Occurs in Michigan

According to Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.619, when an accident occurs, the driver involved in the car crash must: 

  • Give their name, home address, and vehicle registration number to a police officer, the accident victim, or other driver. 

  • Show their driver's license to a police officer, the accident victim, or the other driver. 

  • Provide reasonable medical assistance to the accident victims to help transport them to the hospital. 

If the driver leaves the accident scene without reporting to the police, offering medical assistance, or performing the necessary task, they may be charged with a hit-and-run. A seasoned lawyer can review your case details and help you file your hit-and-run claims. 

Your Options for Filing a Claim After a Hit and Run

After the accident, you can file an injury claim with your insurer or PIP coverage to seek damages. However, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system and file a third-party claim or lawsuit against the liable party if your injuries or accident must meet any of the requirements below: 

  • The accident occurred in another state. 

  • You suffered permanent and severe disfigurement, serious impairment of bodily function, or loss of life. 

  • The at-fault driver is a non-resident with their car insured in another state. 

  • The lawsuit must be for $1,000 or less in vehicle damage, the damage isn't covered by your own auto insurance, and the other driver is 50% or more at fault. 

If the driver is uninsured, underinsured, or you're unable to identify the driver, it may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. Your legal counsel can fully explain the next steps to take and determine the best way to proceed with your injury claims. 

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision

Generally, filing an injury claim against a driver who is uninsured or underinsured is never a wise decision. In most cases, the uninsured or underinsured driver will be unable to cover your total damages.  

You have the option to file an injury claim with your own Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) policy. The UM/UIM coverage will help cover your medical expenses, vehicle/property damages, and other accident-related losses if you're unable to identify the at-fault driver after a hit-and-run. 

Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit-and-Run 

If you were involved in a hit-and-run crash, you should take the following steps, where possible: 

  1. Stay calm and get to safety.  

  2. Do not chase the fleeing driver. 

  3. Note important details about the vehicle, including the manufacturer, model, color, and license plate number. 

  4. Note specific details about the driver, such as their gender, appearance, outfit, estimated age, facial hair, and eyeglasses. 

  5. Call 911 to get prompt medical treatment for your injuries. 

  6. Get the contact details of eyewitnesses and other people at the accident scene who saw the crash when it occurred. 

  7. Gather evidence at the accident scene, including photos and video footage from traffic cameras and surveillance cameras at nearby parking lots, supermarkets, or retail stores. 

  8. Document pictures of your injuries and medical treatments received. 

  9. Document your personal account of the accident while you can still remember the details. 

  10. Report the auto crash to the nearest police department. 

  11. Notify your insurance carrier about the hit-and-run accident. 

  12. Hire an experienced lawyer to help file your accident claims and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. 

A practiced personal injury lawyer can walk you through the claims process, fight for your rights, and attempt to recover the maximum available financial compensation. 

Seek Justice After a Hit-and-Run Accident 

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be unsettling, and seeking damages can involve several complexities. Regardless, you don't have to face it alone. At Ratton Law Group PC, we're dedicated to protecting the rights of hit-and-run accident victims and their loved ones. Our skilled legal team can fight vigorously for your rights and help recover the rightful financial compensation to cover your injuries, damages, and losses. 

Contact us at Ratton Law Group PC today to schedule a simple case evaluation with experienced personal injury attorneys. Our devoted lawyers can offer you the compassionate representation and personalized advocacy you need in your hit-and-run accident claims. We're proud to serve clients across Detroit, Michigan.