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What are my Legal Options as a Pedestrian Hit & Run Victim?

As a pedestrian victim of a hit and run, you are probably in physical pain and are likely emotionally impacted. You may be focused on that pain and the thought of filing for legal action was far from your mind. However, if your accident was the result of a negligent driver and you have sustained serious injuries, you should consider pursuing legal action. Here is an overview of hit and run accidents and the legal action you might pursue.

What are Hit and Run Accidents?

A hit and run accident describes a situation where a car hits a pedestrian, object, or another car and leaves the site of the accident without stopping to help the victim or exchange information.

In some states, leaving the scene makes the accident a hit and run, regardless of who is at fault originally. One exception to that is if you leave to get assistance and return immediately after to the scene.

Hit and run crimes can qualify as both misdemeanors or felonies. When the accident is classified as a misdemeanor, there could be a fine of up to $5,000 and possibly a year in jail. In the case of a felony, the driver has left a scene where a pedestrian or vehicle passenger. Fines for a felony hit and run could range between $5,000 and $20,000 as well as a possibility of incarceration. If the injuries are severe, you may face up to fifteen years in prison.

In both cases, the driver at fault may risk license suspension or revocation.

What Legal Process Follows a Hit and Run?

There are a few legal options you can pursue. One option is to file a claim with the insurance company of the hit and run driver. You could even file a lawsuit against the driver for the damages you suffered from the accident. If a lawsuit is filed, you should ask for compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering.

As a Pedestrian Victim, Should I Hire a Lawyer?

If you are the victim, you shouldn’t need a lawyer, right? That is not necessarily wise. It is possible for a victim to pursue a claim without legal assistance, but that is not advisable. You should consult a lawyer in any legal situation.

It can be hard to prove a hit and run accident–that is one of many reasons to consult a lawyer. Further, the insurance companies will try to discredit your case to avoid paying you. A lawyer will be able to speak with them on your behalf and likely has more knowledge about insurance claims than you do.

Most personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation to discuss your case. They also usually work for a contingency fee. Incidentally, if you are worried about upfront costs, this will put your mind at ease. You will not pay anything upfront and the lawyer will collect fees from an agreed percentage of your settlement award. Be sure to verify with the fee schedule with your lawyer before hiring them.

You have nothing to lose by attending a free consultation. Call today to discuss your hit and run accident with an experienced car accident lawyer Milwaukee, WI, respects.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim SC for their insight into car accidents.

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