Memphis Hit & Run Accident Lawyers
Recovering Fair Compensation After a Hit & Run in Tennessee
Leaving the scene of an accident you have been involved in, otherwise known as a “hit and run,” is a serious offense in Tennessee. According to historical crash data compiled by the Tennessee Department of Safety, Office of Research, Statistics, and Analysis between the years of 1996 and 2009, over 14,000 hit and run accidents occur in Tennessee annually, many of which remain unsolved. If you have been injured by a hit and run driver, you may be wondering what your options are or if you even have any.
Fortunately, you may still have several options for recovering compensation following a hit and run. At Dunk Law Firm, our hit and run accident lawyers in Memphis have extensive experience investigating and litigating such cases. If there is an avenue for you to receive just compensation after a hit and run accident, we will find it.
Our firm offers free, no-obligation consultations, so there is no risk in giving us a call to explore your options. Contact our hit and run attorneys in Memphis now to learn more!
Tennessee Hit & Run Accident Law
According to Tennessee code § 55-10-101, the “driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible.” The same is true for accidents only resulting in property damage as per Tennessee code § 55-10-102.
Depending on the severity of injuries and property damage that resulted from the crash, a hit and run driver may be subject to punishments ranging from a small fine to significant jail time. Other penalties may include a civil lawsuit brought by a party injured in the accident, penalties from Tennessee Driver Services, or an increase in their auto insurance premiums.
Why Do Drivers Flee the Scene of an Accident?
A motorist might hit and run for a variety of reasons—maybe they are in a hurry to make an appointment they consider very important, or perhaps they are already wanted for something and don’t want to get caught.
Some other reasons a motorist might flee the scene of an accident after causing a crash are:
- The vehicle they are driving is stolen
- They are driving a company car and don’t want their employer to know they got into a crash
- They are driving someone else’s vehicle without the owner’s permission
- They are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- They are driving with an expired driver’s license
- They are in the country illegally
- They are rushing to get to a hospital or somewhere else
- They are transporting illegal goods, such as drugs
- They don’t have auto insurance for the car they are driving
- They have an outstanding warrant for their arrest for unpaid tickets or other crimes
It should be noted that no matter how “good” someone’s excuse for fleeing the scene of an accident is, committing a hit and run is considered a serious offense and will likely have consequences for the at-fault driver if they can be identified.
How Can Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Insurance Coverage Help?
In Tennessee, you can opt to include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage on your auto insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you get into a crash with someone with no car insurance; underinsured motorist coverage kicks in if you’ve been injured in a crash caused by someone whose insurance policy limits are too low to cover your medical bills and other damages.
Both types of coverage will also help you to receive compensation for your injuries if you were hurt by a hit and run motorist. However, you must have this coverage already on your auto insurance policy for it to apply.
Because Tennessee is a traditional fault state when it comes to auto insurance, you must file a claim with the at-fault driver when a crash occurs. If you don’t know who that driver is, you are out of luck unless either the police or your lawyer can locate them or if you have UM/UIM insurance.
Steps to Take After a Tennessee Hit & Run Accident
Being involved in a hit and run may leave you feeling angry, stunned, and confused. What now?
By doing the following as soon as possible, you increase your chances of locating the hit and run motorist and holding them accountable for damages:
Remain at the scene of the accident
- Do not try to pursue the hit and run driver!
- Call the police to file an official report
- Take pictures or video footage of the accident scene and any injuries
Write down any information you can remember about the other driver and/or
- This can include the color, make, and model of the car, what the driver looked like, any bumper stickers you spotted, and any other identifying information
- Write down everything you can remember about how the accident occurred
Seek medical attention, regardless of how minor your injuries seem
- Follow all doctors’ orders regarding your recovery
- If possible, obtain copies of your medical reports and the police report—these will help strengthen your claim
- Contact an experienced hit and run accident lawyer in your area for further guidance
A Memphis hit and run accident attorney at Dunk Law Firm can help you navigate the challenges of identifying the hit and run driver and will explore all possible options for recovery. We understand how complicated and frustrating these cases can be and will do everything we can to make the process easy and help you get back on your feet.
Call (901) 231-4779 or contact us online when you are ready to set up an appointment with a hit and run accident lawyer near you.
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