Hit & Run Accidents in Chattanooga
Seek Compensation with The Hamilton Firm LLC
Hit-and-run accidents are defined as incidents in which a driver involved in a collision flees the scene without stopping to exchange information or render aid to the injured party. These accidents can have devastating consequences, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. In Tennessee, as in most states, leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense.
At The Hamilton Firm LLC, we believe that hit-and-run accidents should never go unpunished. That is why we take these cases seriously and fight hard to get our clients the compensation they need to pay their medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. If you were involved in a hit-and-run in Chattanooga, don't wait to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
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In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-10-101, if you are involved in a car accident that results in injury, death, or property damage, you are legally obligated to stop at the scene of the accident.
Upon stopping at the scene, you are required to provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information to the other parties involved in the accident. If requested, you must also show your driver's license.
Additionally, if someone is injured in the accident, you are expected to render reasonable assistance. This may include calling for medical help or performing basic first aid–if qualified to do so–while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.
In cases involving injury, death, or property damage, you must promptly report the accident to law enforcement authorities. The report should be made to the local police department, county sheriff, or the Tennessee Highway Patrol, depending on where the accident occurred.
Fleeing the scene of an accident in Tennessee can result in criminal charges and penalties. The severity of the penalties can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. Penalties may include fines, probation, suspension or revocation of your driver's license, and even imprisonment.
How to Recover Compensation in a Hit & Run Accident
Recovering compensation in a hit-and-run accident in Tennessee can be challenging, but it's not impossible. Here are the steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation:
- Ensure Safety: First and foremost, prioritize safety. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries, and if necessary, seek immediate medical attention. Also, move to a safe location if your vehicle is obstructing traffic.
- Contact the Police: Report the hit-and-run accident to the local law enforcement agency as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details you can remember about the accident, including the other vehicle's make, model, color, license plate number (even a partial plate number can help), and the direction in which it fled. Assist the police with their investigation to the best of your ability. If they locate the hit-and-run driver, it will be easier to pursue compensation through a civil claim.
- Gather Evidence: While at the scene, gather as much evidence as you can. This includes taking photographs of your damaged vehicle, the accident scene, and any visible tire marks or debris. Collect the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your auto insurance company to report the hit-and-run. You will need to provide them with the police report and any evidence you've gathered. Be aware that your insurance policy may have specific requirements and time limits for reporting such incidents.
- Consult an Attorney: Consider consulting a personal injury attorney who specializes in hit-and-run accidents. They can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with your insurance company, and potentially identify the responsible party if they are apprehended later.
- Seek Medical Treatment: Even if you don't immediately feel injured, it's crucial to seek medical attention after the accident. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms until later, and documenting your injuries is essential for your claim.
Remember, uninsured motorist coverage can help compensate you for injuries and damages if the at-fault driver is uninsured or cannot be identified in a hit-and-run situation. In Tennessee, this coverage is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
If the hit-and-run driver is identified, you may consider filing a civil lawsuit against them to recover damages that are not covered by your insurance, such as pain and suffering or punitive damages.