What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in North Carolina

Person on the street viewed through a rearview mirror

If you’ve recently been injured in a hit-and-run accident—whether you were driving, walking, or riding a bicycle—the car accident lawyer at Kreger Brodish LLP can help you understand your options for pursuing the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.

What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver flees the scene of the crash without waiting for the police, rendering reasonable medical aid if necessary, or exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver. According to North Carolina’s “duty to stop” law (N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-166), all drivers involved in a crash must remain at the scene until the police have completed an investigation and given them permission to leave. A driver who fails to comply with this law can face Class 1 misdemeanor or even felony charges, depending on the severity of the injuries they caused to the other driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian.

What to Do After Being Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident

Here at Kreger Brodish LLP, we can guide you through the steps to take if you have been injured in a hit-and-run crash. Most importantly, never try to pursue the fleeing driver. Instead, move to a safe place if possible (such as the side of the road) and immediately call 911. The sooner the police are notified, the better chance they have of finding the at-fault driver. And, of course, the 911 call is especially important if you or other drivers or passengers need immediate medical attention.

When the police arrive, provide them with all the facts you know about the crash—the more detailed your description of the other driver and their vehicle, the better. However, be sure to stick to the facts and avoid speculation. The police will prepare an accident report and do their best to find the fleeing driver. If they do, you will most likely be able to pursue monetary recovery through the other driver’s liability insurance.

Also, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are minor. Some car accident injuries are not immediately apparent, and the insurance company may deny your claim was caused by your accident if you wait to seek medical care.  By seeking medical care as soon as possible after your accident, it is less likely that the insurance company will determine that you weren’t injured, that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant medical care, or that your injuries were not caused by the accident.

How to Pursue Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident

You’re probably wondering what happens if the police don’t catch the at-fault driver or if they do catch them only to find that they don’t have any liability insurance (in fact, that’s one common reason why at-fault drivers flee the scene of a crash). Thankfully, you still have options for pursuing monetary recovery for your injuries.

You can file a claim with your own insurance company for uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UM coverage will cover your losses up to your policy’s limits, and UIM will cover the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and your total losses (again, up to your policy’s limits).

What Is North Carolina’s “No Contact Rule?”

Keep in mind that for property damage, but not injuries, North Carolina follows the “No Contact Rule,” meaning that your insurance company can deny your property damage claim if you cannot provide evidence that the other driver made contact with you or your vehicle. This “No Contact Rule” does not mean that you do not have an injury case if there is no evidence that the other driver made contact with you or your vehicle.

Contact a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney in North Carolina Today

Whether you pursue monetary recovery through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance or your own UM or UIM coverage, hiring the Durham personal injury lawyers at Kreger Brodish LLP can improve your likelihood of success, make the process easier, and take away the burden of negotiating with insurance companies on your own. While you rest and recover, we will investigate the crash, negotiate with the insurance companies, and get you the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run crash, give us a call or contact us online today to start the legal process and begin your journey to recovery—physical, emotional, and financial.