Car accidents, however minor, are always unexpected and inconvenient. Fender benders, though, are a world away from serious collisions resulting in severe injuries. The latter are devastating and often life-altering; at their worst, they involve fatalities. Hit and run accidents always worsen the situation by taking away the injured party’s sense of control.
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident and have suffered serious injuries, it is probably unimaginable that the other driver has left you on the road to suffer and possibly die — yet that is the reality. While you may picture the other driver as a monster, he or she was much more likely motivated by fear than malice.
Nonetheless, you now have to face urgent medical problems, an inability to work, and a car that may or may not be able to be repaired. In addition to your physical pain and emotional trauma, you will have to face enormous financial difficulties and the person who bears responsibility for all your troubles has disappeared. At a time like this, with your life in turmoil, you need the counsel of a first-rate personal injury attorney. If you are located in or around Nashville, Cummings Law is the firm to call. It is important that the accident is reported quickly to the police. In Tennessee, in order to be able to file a claim for personal injuries, a police report of the hit and run accident must be made within 24 hours.
Why You Need A Hit And Run Accident Attorney
When you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you will be confronting complex issues on a legal, as well as personal, level. For this reason, you require a personal attorney with extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge of the field. With 20 years of successful litigation behind him, Brian Cummings has the track record to reassure you and the compassion to make you feel supported as you heal. During a recent 12-month period, Brian recovered over $20 million for his clients. He is ready to add you to his list of satisfied clients. Also, Brian is not only a talented litigator but a caring human being who wants to help.
Finding the Culprit in a Hit and Run Accident
Law enforcement officers now have many tools to discover who is responsible for the hit and run that were not available years ago. While witnesses have always been a good source of information, the fact that most witnesses can now take immediate photos with their smartphones provides much more reliable evidence than prior witness testimony. Police data banks of license plates are also extremely helpful as are streaks of paint left on your car, or car parts left at the site. You can be sure Cummings Law will be following through with every step of the investigation to locate the person responsible for your injuries.
Why Drivers Leave the Scene of an Accident
Most of us are appalled by the actions of a hit and run driver, especially when someone is clearly injured. As noted earlier, in most cases, fear and/or panic are the motivating forces of the fleeing driver. While certainly not an excuse for such egregious conduct, the driver may fear fines, loss of their driver’s license, imprisonment, a sullied reputation, and/or loss of employment.
A high percentage of defendants in hit and run accidents are ultimately found to be:
- Driving without a valid driver’s license
- Driving without up-to-date registration or insurance
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted by an electronic device
- Driving without the vehicle owner’s permission
- Driving a stolen car
- Guilty of another crime for which they fear being arrested
- Fearful of accumulating points that will cause loss of driver’s license
Whatever rationale the hit and run driver uses, he or she is guilty of a crime by  leaving the scene without providing information to the other driver or the police and  by not attempting to assist anyone who has been injured. If the hit and run driver is located, Cummings Law will make certain he or she is held fully liable for all your have suffered as a result of both the accident and the lack of immediate assistance. Brian Cummings is a highly capable negotiator as well as a powerful litigator and has the skills and the determination to get the job done for you.
Penalties for Fleeing an Accident with Injuries in Tennessee
If the accident resulted in injury, a hit and run driver can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, driver’s license suspension, and a fine of up to $2,500. A driver who leaves the scene in which he or she knows, or should have known, that there was a severe injury or fatality can face felony charges punishable by up to 6 years in prison.
Civil Lawsuits Provide a Greater Measure of Justice
Most of us recognize that 6 years in prison does not seem a reasonable punishment for someone who has hit you and left you horribly injured and possibly dying or dead in the road. This is where personal injury litigation comes in. No matter what the court says decides relative to the the hit and run driver’s guilt, you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to obtain appropriate monetary damages.
What if the defendant is never located?
If the driver who hit you is unable to be found, you will have to turn to your own insurance company for compensation. Although Tennessee law requires that all insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM), drivers do not have to purchase it.
What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Although primarily created to protect you if you are seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured driver and the uninsured driver is at fault for your injuries, UM is also designed for hit and run accidents in which the offender is never located, in which case there is no one to sue for your personal injuries and related costs. Assuming that you have invested in UM, Cummings Law can help you file a claim with your own insurance company. You should be aware, however, that UM is for personal liability only, not for property damage.
Brian Cummings is well-schooled in strategies to persuade your insurance company to pay personal injury damages to cover your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost income and other injury-related costs up to the amount of liability coverage you carry. Tennessee law requires that all UM policies include coverage for personal injury in the same amount as their regular liability coverage. Thus, if you have $250,000 of liability coverage, you should have $250,000 in UM coverage.
Suppose the Insurance Company Is Not Forthcoming
As most of us are aware, having insurance does not necessarily mean that your insurance company will automatically pay your claim in full. This is where Brian Cummings is invaluable. Using his impressive negotiation skills, he will be a tireless advocate for your cause and make certain you receive every dollar you are entitled to. In a case in which your insurance company is uncooperative and you are being short-changed, he can also initiate a lawsuit against the insurance company itself to force those in charge to meet their legal obligations. Studies show that people injured in car accidents receive up to three times more money via a settlement when they have an experienced attorney representing them.
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are the only ones in which, although you are not at fault, you will have to pay your collision deductible. Because you are not at fault, however, your insurance company, will not be permitted to raise your insurance premiums as a result of your filed claim.
Contact Our Nashville Hit And Run Accident Lawyer
Call on Cummings Law for a vigorous defense of your rights. We will fight ferociously to get you all the compensation you deserve for medical costs, lost income (present and future), pain and suffering, scarring, permanent disability, or other accident-related costs. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we will be able to take over your hit and run case and let you focus on your recovery from the accident. Contact us today for a consultation regarding your case.