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Are Hit and Runs Illegal? Understanding Your Rights in a Hit and Run Lawsuit

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Kansas Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer

Kansas City hit-and-run car accidents are more common than most drivers think. Hit-and-run car accidents are incidents where the driver of vehicle hits a bicycle, another vehicle or pedestrian, and flees the scene without leaving any proper identification or notification of the accident.  Hit-and-run car accidents frequently result in property damage but can also result in serious death or injury.  The hidden danger of these accidents, besides the obvious bodily injuries, is that the driver left the victim without taking responsibility and leaving the victim in a potentially vulnerable and uncovered financial position.

Outside of the obvious legal liability, the driver has for the damages caused, the driver of a hit-and-run car accident is also committing a crime that is punishable by fines and jail time under Missouri law, and the laws of every state.  The mistake most victims make in hit-and-run car accidents in Kansas City is failing to contact an attorney to see their rights as they often belief if they cannot find the driver, there is no one to recover damages from.  This is a false assumption.  Thankfully, many Kansas City hit-and-run victims that result in bodily injuries are able to recover damages from their own insurance company if they have uninsured motorist insurance or underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist insurance is an electable coverage that covers a driver if they were damaged by a driver that does not have insurance, does not have enough insurance to cover the damages, or covers a situation where there is a hit-and-run and the victim does not know how the negligent party is.  However, these uninsured motorist claims can be complicated, especially in cases where is significant bodily harm and fatalities. The experienced car accident lawyer Kansas City, MO trusts at Royce Injury Lawyers regularly file claims on behalf of their clients injured in hit-and-run car accidents.  Call today for a free consultation to determine whether or not you have an uninsured motorist claim and are entitled to damages. 

Underinsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage that allows a victim to recover damages from their own insurance company in an accident where the negligent driver has insurance, but not enough insurance to cover all the damages they caused.  In this situation, the victim can personally sue the negligent driver to recover damages, but in almost all of these lawsuits, the negligent driver does not have assets or enough assets to satisfy the judgment.  So even if the victim personally sues and wins against a negligent driver, their judgment is often uncollectible and meaningless. The driver can also file bankruptcy to remove any outstanding personal liability, so in these situations, it is best for the victim to try to recover damages from insurance.

Missouri Law on Kansas City Hit-And-Run Accidents

Despite, fleeing the scene of an injury auto accident being against the law, it is a regular occurrence.  According to AAA, roughly 11% of all car accidents are hit-and-run accidents.

Reasons for Hit and Runs

Drivers will drive away from the auto accident scene without stopping or contacting the authorities for multiple different reasons:

  • Under the influence: If someone is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, the repercussions can be very serious. The fines can be tremendous and they can be arrested and face time in jail.
  • Driving with a suspended license: It is illegal to drive without a license or even with a suspended one. If someone is caught,it is a serious criminal offense. Someone driving with a suspended license will drive away from the scene because they do not want to get charged or caught not having a proper license with them at the time of the auto accident
  • Lack of insurance: It is also illegal to be driving a motor vehicle without the proper insurance. A driver without proper insurance is likely to leave the scene. If they are caught, they will face civil liability and criminal charges against them that come with driving without insurance.
  • Not wanting to get a ticket: It is quite common that if a driver has multiple driving tickets within a designated period of time, the courts could decide to suspend their license. If the person driving that caused the auto accident already has multiple tickets to their name, they probably want to avoid getting another ticket which would cause more problems for them. It is also possible that someone will just drive off because they are nervous and do not want to interact with the police and get a ticket altogether.
  • Overall fear: Auto accidents are not easy to deal with and a scary thing to experience. There is a lot of uncertainty. People can be afraid of their spouse, employer, kids, and parents finding out. Even if the auto accident was just a simple one with no injuries, it is still not an easy situation to be in. It is common for the driver’s mind to go blank and the first thing that comes to mind is to drive away as fast as possible. Just keep in mind,  It is normal to be afraid after being in an auto accident.

It does not matter the reason for someone to leave the scene of an accident and create a hit and run. At the end of the day, leaving the scene is a serious criminal charge. The driver who left the scene can be charged with large penalties for convictions.

What to do if Involved in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in Kansas City? 

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in Kansas City, there are numerous steps you should take to make sure your insurance claim will be good as possible:

  • Do not leave the scene of the accident and if injured please stay as still as possible until help arrives
  • Call the police right away
  • Immediately write down all the facts you can remember about the vehicle that hit you to help the police. Try to remember vehicle color, make, model, and any details you can from the license plate
  • Gather information from any witnesses, including names, phone numbers and email addresses
  • Take as many pictures as possible of the accident scene and surrounding area
  • Seek immediate medical attention and go to the hospital without delay
  • Contact a lawyer as soon as possible

Bicyclists and Pedestrians injured in Kansas City Hit-And-Run Car Accidents

Like in any car accidents, innocent bystanders are particularly vulnerable to hit-and-run car accidents. Nationwide, roughly 800 people per year are killed in hit-and-run car accidents according to the NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board.  Hit-and-run accidents often occur when a bystander is hit because the driver often hits a person they did not see in a crosswalk or running a stop sign, and they flee the scene.  Despite the innocent bystander not being in their car at the time of the accident, these victims can often still pursue recovery through their own uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist insurance.  These are not your typical hit-and-run car accident lawyer cases, so it Is important to hire a firm experienced in handling these cases. Royce Injury has handled numerous of these cases in Kansas City and throughout all of Missouri.

Hit and Run Driving Accident: Two Sides Of The Story

If you are hit, it is very important for you to report the case and injury to the authorities within twenty-four hours so you can have a police report filed. From there, an insurance claim needs to be filed with your insurance company within thirty days with the help of your attorney. Thus, one of the first steps you need to take is to find a Hit and Run Car Accident lawyer in Kansas City, MO to help you get the justice you deserve.

On the other hand, if you are the driver, driving vehicles carelessly or injuring someone on the streets is a serious charge that can lead to severe consequences. A driver who rash drives under unconsciousness upon drinking will put the lives of innocent people walking on the roads at risk. With the help of knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, you can handle the case with utmost sensitivity and care.

Kansas City Hit-And-Run Car Accident Attorneys

The car accident attorneys at Royce Injury are experienced in both local Kansas City rules and regulations and Missouri laws regarding hit-and-run car accidents resulting in serious injury or death.  If you or a loved one are in an accident where the driver flees the scene, uninsured motorist insurance, and underinsured motorist insurance can help you recover the full amount you would have recovered had the driver not fled the scene.

Call Royce Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation with a Kansas hit and run car accident lawyer. As for all our cases, we do not charge you a dime unless we win your case.

Jason Royce Allen

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