Can I File a Claim For Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Crash in Minneapolis?
Every driver involved in a Minneapolis crash is required to stay at the scene to exchange information, render reasonable medical aid to the injured and notify the police so a crash report can be completed.
Leaving the scene without doing these things is a crime that carries significant penalties, especially if someone suffered substantial bodily harm or death.
Despite the harsh penalties, drivers still flee from car crashes on a regular basis. This is why you need to know what to do if you’re a victim of a hit-and-run. TSR’s experienced Minneapolis-based vehicle accident lawyers discuss these types of crashes below. If you were injured in a crash, we are ready to help you, and there are no upfront costs to hire our services.
We are ready to take your call. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.
What is a Hit-and-Run Crash?
A hit-and-run crash occurs when the driver who caused the crash leaves the scene. In other words, the driver who flees knows that he or she caused the crash and decides not to stop.
Leaving the scene of a crash is a crime in every state, and the penalties increase with the severity of the crash victim’s injuries.
Why Do Drivers Flee a Crash Scene?
There are numerous reasons why the at-fault party would leave the scene of the crash. The main reason why drivers flee the scene of a crash is because they do not want to take responsibility for it. They do not want the victim filing a liability insurance claim, because this will result in the at-fault driver’s insurance premiums going up.
Sometimes drivers flee because they fear criminal consequences for the crash. Often times, the at-fault party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol which clouds their judgement. In their mind, if they wait for the police to arrive, they are likely to be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
There may also be rare cases when an at-fault driver has a warrant out for his or her arrest or is still in the act of committing a crime and is fleeing the previous crime scene.
Steps You Should Take if a Driver Flees the Scene of Your Crash
If you are ever involved in a hit-and-run crash in Minneapolis, there are steps you can take to help protect your claim for compensation.
One of the most important things you should try to do is remain calm. Seeing a driver flee can make people so angry they fail to try to collect information about the car or the driver. They may even chase after the driver.
Should I Chase After a Hit-and-Run Driver?
You should never chase after a driver who hits your car and flees the scene. If you do, you will be putting yourself and other drivers in danger.
The at-fault driver may be fleeing the scene of a crime or may have a warrant out for his or her arrest. That means this person may be dangerous. It is best to leave the task of finding the fleeing driver to the police.
It is also important to consider that your vehicle might not be safe to drive because of damage sustained in the crash.
Gathering Information About the Fleeing Car and Driver
The fleeing driver may be out of view in a matter of seconds, so it may not be possible to get any information about the car or its driver. However, you might be able to get a few details that could help law enforcement officers find the car and driver.
Take note of the following information, if possible:
- License plate number
- Vehicle make
- Vehicle model
- Description of the driver (male or female, hairstyle, identifying features, etc.)
- Damage to the vehicle
- If there were other occupants in the vehicle
- Which way the car was headed when you last saw it
Moving Your Vehicle Out of Harm’s Way
If you are still in the flow of traffic, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road and away from passing cars. However, you should only move your car if it is safe to do so.
Your next step is to call 9-1-1 to bring the police to the scene. While you are on the phone, explain that the driver fled the scene and provide the information you collected about the driver and the car. That way, the police have a much better chance at finding the car and driver.
When the police arrive at the scene, explain how the crash occurred to help the officer complete the police report.
Talking to Witnesses
If you see any witnesses, be sure to point them out to the police. It is always best to gather names and numbers of any witnesses in case they leave before police arrive. They may have seen things you did not, which may help the police locate the driver and/or the car.
Seeking Medical Treatment
You should go from the scene to the hospital to get treatment for your injuries. You should not take any chances by waiting to go later, as this could potentially allow your injuries to worsen. Seeking immediate treatment also helps connect your injuries directly to the crash.
Calling an Experienced Lawyer
You should call a lawyer after getting treatment for your injuries. It is difficult for crash victims to obtain full compensation trying to handle the legal process on their own.
Seeking Compensation After a Minnesota Hit-and-Run Collision
One of the advantages of living in a no-fault state like Minnesota is that you can recover compensation for medical expenses from your own insurance, no matter who is at fault for the crash. That means you can recover compensation for medical costs and other expenses from the personal injury protection coverage (PIP) in your own insurance.
The challenge with hit-and-run crashes comes when the police cannot find the driver who fled the scene. If the police find the driver, your lawyer may have the option of filing a claim against that driver’s liability insurance. However, this assumes the fleeing driver has insurance.
If the police cannot find the driver, or the driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file a claim with your own policy which has mandatory uninsured motorist coverage. Priorities for uninsured coverage are different than no-fault, so an attorney is needed to make sure the correct insurance company is contacted and provides coverage.
The bottom line is that recovering compensation after a Minneapolis hit-and-run crash can be complicated. That is why you should contact a licensed attorney to manage your claim on your behalf. The attorneys at TSR Injury Law have extensive legal knowledge, including how to determine the insurance coverage that may apply to a crash.
Have Legal Questions After a Car Crash? Call Us
There are many reasons why you should seek out an experienced attorney after getting injured in a car crash. For example, you absolutely need a lawyer if the at-fault driver left the scene.
At TSR, there are no upfront costs with our services. The initial consultation is also free of charge, and we do not get paid unless you receive compensation. We have obtained more than $1 billion for our clients.
Give us a call today to learn more about how we can assist you. Call (612) TSR-TIME.