Injured in a Hit and Run? Discover Your Legal Options Now!
We understand the stress and confusion that follow a hit-and-run accident. Our hit and run attorney can help you get the money and justice you deserve in these difficult times.
Ricket Law Firm LLC is proud of its strong advocacy and persistent dedication to clients. Hit and run cases are complicated, but our lawyers understand. Our legal solutions are customized for each client. We have the resources to manage legal complexities and prioritize your best interests after years of personal injury experience.
Ricket Law Firm LLC believes everyone deserves competent legal representation. Your hit and run case is in capable hands when you choose us. Contact us today to defend your rights. Start your rehabilitation with us.
What is Hit and Run?
In a hit and run accident, one driver flees the scene without helping or providing information to the other. Drivers who escape the situation may cause accidents.
What Are The Types of Hit and Run Accidents?
Hit and run incidents can vary based on the circumstances and the parties involved. Here are some common types of hit and run accidents:
- Vehicle-to-Vehicle: This is one of the most common types of hit and run accidents, where a driver collides with another vehicle. Examples would include:
- Vehicle-to-Cyclist: Involves a driver colliding with a cyclist
- Parking Lot Hit and Run: Happens in parking lots when a driver hits a parked car
- Roadside Hit and Run: Driver hits another vehicle that is stopped or parked at the side of the road, such as during a breakdown
- Chain Reaction: Driver causes a collision involving multiple vehicles
- Vehicle-to-Pedestrian: In this type of hit and run, a driver hits a pedestrian (someone who is walking, jogging, or crossing the road)
- Property Damage: This occurs when a driver damages someone else’s property, such as a parked car, fence, mailbox, or building
- Hit and Run Involving Injury and Fatalities: This type of hit and run involves the driver causing serious injury or death to another person
Note: All the types of Hit and run accidents mentioned involved the driver or at-fault motorist fleeing the accident scene without offering help or assistance to the victim.
What Are Missouri Hit and Run Accident Laws?
Missouri law requires drivers involved in an accident to take certain actions, depending on the severity of the accident.
- Duty to Stop: If a driver is involved in an accident that results in injury, death, or property damage, they must stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident.
- Duty to Provide Information: After stopping, the driver must provide the following to the other parties involved in the accident.
- Vehicle registration number
- Driver’s license
- Duty to Render Aid: If the accident resulted in injuries, the driver must provide reasonable assistance to the injured parties. This may include calling for medical help or taking them to a medical facility if it’s apparent that immediate medical attention is required.
- Reporting to Law Enforcement: In cases where the accident resulted in injury, death, or significant property damage, the driver must promptly report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency.
Missing these duties can have serious implications. Different circumstances can make hit-and-run offenses misdemeanors or felonies. Fines, license suspension, and jail are possible penalties.
Missouri as an At-Fault Insurance State
Missouri’s status as an “at-fault” state significantly influences how hit and run accidents are approached within the legal and insurance frameworks. In an at-fault state, the responsibility for covering damages and injuries resulting from an accident generally rests with the party deemed to be at fault for causing the incident.
When a hit and run accident occurs, the at-fault driver and their insurance company are generally responsible for covering the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run penalties in Missouri can vary based on the specific circumstances of the accident, including the extent of injuries, property damage, and whether there was a loss of life. Here’s a list of potential penalties for hit and run accidents in Missouri:
Misdemeanor Hit and Run
If the hit and run accident involves only property damage (no injuries or deaths), the driver who leaves the scene may be charged with a misdemeanor. Penalties can include fines, potential imprisonment, and/or probation.
Felony Hit and Run
If the hit and run accident involves injury or death to another person, the driver who leaves the scene may face felony charges. Penalties can also include fines, potential imprisonment, and/or probation.
Hit and run accidents can lead to criminal charges such as leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, or even vehicular manslaughter or homicide charges if the accident results in a fatality.
Driver’s License Consequences
In addition to criminal penalties, hit and run convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. The length of the suspension or revocation can vary based on the severity of the offense.
The driver who leaves the scene of an accident may also be held financially liable for damages and injuries in civil court. The victim of the hit and run accident may file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their losses.
Missouri Hit and Run Statute of Limitations and Exemptions
Like in many other jurisdictions, there exists a legal framework that governs the time limits within which legal action can be pursued following a hit and run accident in Missouri. Understanding the statute of limitations and its exceptions is vital for both victims seeking recompense and those potentially facing legal consequences for leaving the scene of an accident.
- Property Damage: Filing a lawsuit related to property damage resulting from a hit and run accident generally takes five years from the date of the accident.
- Personal Injury: For hit and run accidents involving personal injury, the statute of limitations can vary. In general, personal injury lawsuits in Missouri must be filed within five years from the date of the accident. However, there can be exceptions and specific circumstances that might affect the timeline.
Certain factors, such as the victim’s age, the discovery of injuries, and other legal considerations, can sometimes affect the application of the statute of limitations. Additionally, hit and run accidents involving fatalities may have different legal considerations and potential timelines. Exceptions to the statute of limitations can occur under specific circumstances, such as:
- Delayed Discovery: If the victim could not have reasonably discovered their injuries or damages immediately after the accident, the statute of limitations may start from the date the injuries or damages were discovered or should have been discovered.
- Minor or Incapacitated Victim: If the hit and run involves a minor or an individual who is incapacitated or unable to pursue legal action, the statute of limitations might be tolled until the victim is of legal age or capable of pursuing a case.
- Identification of the Defendant: If the identity of the defendant is not immediately known, the statute of limitations might be extended. The clock could start ticking from the point when the defendant is identified.
- Fraud or Concealment: If the defendant takes actions to conceal their involvement in the hit and run or engages in fraudulent activities to prevent discovery, the statute of limitations might be extended.
- Out-of-State Defendant: If the defendant leaves the state after the hit and run, the time they spend out of state might not be counted towards the statute of limitations period.
- Victim’s Medical Condition: If the victim’s injuries are severe and they require an extended period of time for recovery, the statute of limitations might be extended to accommodate their situation.
Consulting with our Kansas City hit and run attorney is highly recommended to understand the specific statute of limitations that applies to your situation and any potential exceptions that might come into play.
Why Do Drivers Leave the Scene of an Accident?
There are many reasons drivers leave accident scenes. Leaving an accident site is unlawful and can have serious consequences, thus, none of these reasons justify their behavior. Some reasons why drivers flee:
Fear of consequences
One of the most common reasons is the fear of facing legal repercussions for causing the accident. They may be uninsured, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or have a suspended or revoked license.
Panic and shock
Some drivers may be overwhelmed by the situation and react impulsively out of panic and shock, especially if it’s their first time being involved in an accident.
Lack of awareness
In some cases, a driver may not realize they caused an accident, especially in crowded or chaotic traffic situations. They might not even be aware that they hit something or someone.
Outstanding warrants or legal issues
Some hit-and-run drivers might have other legal problems or warrants, leading them to flee in an attempt to avoid being identified by law enforcement.
Lack of empathy or concern
Sadly, some individuals may lack empathy or concern for the well-being of others and choose to leave the scene to avoid dealing with the consequences of their actions.
In certain situations, passengers in the fleeing vehicle may encourage the driver to leave the scene, making it harder for them to make the right decision.
Mental or emotional instability
A driver who is mentally or emotionally unstable may not act rationally during or after an accident.
What Should I Do After A Hit and Run Accident?
If the other driver leaves after an accident, it can be distressing and perplexing. Follow this step-by-step procedure to safeguard your rights and pursue legal action:
- Stay Calm and Safe: Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If possible, move yourself and your vehicle to a safe location to avoid further accidents or injuries.
- Call Emergency Services: If anyone is injured, or there is significant property damage, call emergency services immediately. Report the accident and let them know that the other driver left the scene. It’s also a good idea to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and documenting your medical condition can be essential for insurance purposes.
- Contact the Police: Even if there are no injuries, it’s crucial to report the hit and run to the police. Provide them with all the information you have about the other vehicle. This may involve giving a statement or answering questions about the accident.
- Note the Details: Try to remember as many details about the other vehicle as possible.
- License plate number (even if you only remember a part of it)
- and any distinguishing features of the car.
- Gather Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information. They may be able to provide valuable information to the police and your insurance company.
- Document the Scene: If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene, including your vehicle, any damage, and any debris on the road. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims and police reports.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the hit and run accident. Provide them with all the relevant information and follow their instructions for filing a claim.
- Consult with an Attorney: If you sustained injuries or significant property damage in the hit and run accident, consider consulting with our personal injury attorney in Kansas City. We can advise you on your rights and legal options.
Is My Hit and Run Accident Covered By Insurance In Missouri?
Your hit-and-run accident in Kansas City, Missouri, may be covered by insurance depending on your coverage and the circumstances. Consider these scenarios:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
Hit-and-run accidents may be covered under uninsured motorist coverage. If a hit-and-run driver doesn’t have insurance or can’t be identified, UM coverage protects you. This coverage usually covers injuries and property damage.
Collision coverage is an optional insurance policy that covers vehicle damage from an accident, regardless of responsibility. Your collision insurance may cover hit and run damages, subject to your deductible.
Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)
MedPay is another optional coverage that helps pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of fault. If you have MedPay, it could cover your medical bills resulting from the hit and run accident.
Comprehensive coverage protects damage to your car from non-collision occurrences including theft, vandalism, and hit-and-runs. Comprehensive coverage may cover hit-and-run damage to your car, subject to your deductible.
Insurance policies can vary widely, and coverage details can differ between insurance providers and policy contracts. Some policies may have specific limitations or exclusions related to hit and run accidents.
Hit and Run Accidents and Auto Insurance in Missouri
A hit and run accident can have specific effects on your auto insurance in Missouri, depending on whether you’re the victim or the responsible party. Here’s how a hit and run can impact your auto insurance in Missouri:
If You’re the Victim
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Your auto insurance policy can help compensate you for damages if the at-fault driver cannot be identified or is uninsured.
- Filing a Claim: You would need to file a claim with your own insurance company. The process involves providing evidence of the hit and run incident, such as a police report, photos of the damage, and medical records if you were injured.
- Premium Impact: Generally, being the victim of a hit and run accident should not lead to an increase in your insurance premiums. Since you are not at fault for the accident, your rates are less likely to be affected.
If You’re the Responsible Party (Hit and Run Driver):
- Insurance Impact: If you’re identified as the hit and run driver, your insurance rates could increase significantly. Your insurance company may also consider dropping your coverage, making it difficult to find affordable insurance in the future.
- Coverage for Damages: Your insurance may need to cover the damages and injuries caused to the victim. This can include property damage, medical expenses, and potentially legal fees if the victim pursues a lawsuit.
Insurance policies and regulations can vary, so the exact impact on your auto insurance may depend on your specific policy and the circumstances of the hit and run. If you’re involved in a hit and run accident in Missouri, consider seeking legal representation from our personal injury lawyer to understand the implications for your insurance coverage and rates.
Can I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit After A Hit And Run Accident In Missouri?
Whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit after a hit and run accident in Missouri depends on several factors. If you can identify the hit and run driver, you may have the option to pursue a lawsuit against them for compensation. Alternatively, if the driver remains unidentified, your ability to seek compensation could be directed toward filing a claim under your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
The viability of a personal injury lawsuit also hinges on the severity of your injuries, the extent of medical expenses and damages incurred, and the establishment of negligence or wrongful conduct on the part of the hit and run driver. Consulting with our personal injury attorney is recommended to assess your situation and determine if you have a claim.
What Compensation Are Available in Hit and Run Lawsuits?
Hit and run accidents in Missouri may allow you to recover damages based on the circumstances and insurance coverage. Damages you can seek include:
- Medical Expenses
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages
If the motorist is unrecognized or uninsured, hit and run accident damages can be difficult to recover. Uninsured motorist and medical payments insurance will determine your reimbursement. Our personal injury attorney can help you deal with insurance providers and get the reimbursement you deserve.
Why Do I Need a Hit and Run Lawyer in Missouri?
Hit-and-run accidents can cause physical harm, material damage, and mental anguish. When the driver is unidentified seeking justice and compensation can be overwhelming. This is where our Kansas City hit and run attorney came in.
Our dedicated hit and run attorney at Ricket Law Firm LLC is committed to:
- Investigate the collision to gather information for an insurance claim or lawsuit
- Obtain and review copies of police reports
- Determine and review your insurance coverage and policies
- File insurance claims, handle all correspondence with the insurance provider
- Keep track of the deadlines for filing lawsuits
- Calculate the value of your injury claim and keep track of the damages
- Hit-and-run accidents can cause bodily, material, and mental suffering. When the driver is unidentified, finding justice and compensation is difficult. Our Kansas City hit-and-run lawyer helped get you the compensation you need.
Our compassionate legal team will defend your rights, investigate, and negotiate Missouri’s insurance and law in this frightening time. Our experience ensures we’ll fight for your compensation. Start the process now by contacting us!
Call our Kansas City Hit and Run Attorney Now!
Beyond legal guidance, our compassionate team understands the emotional toll a hit and run can take on you and your loved ones. We are here not just as attorneys but as a support system to guide you through this difficult process.
By choosing our hit and run lawyer at Ricket Law Firm LLC, you gain access to a wealth of resources, investigative skills, and a network of professionals committed to building a strong case on your behalf. We stand up not only for victims hit and run accidents but also for nursing home abuse, sexual abuse, and medical malpractice.
Contact us today or visit our website to take the first step toward justice and recovery. Let us be your unwavering advocates as we fight for your rights and help you reclaim your life after this devastating event.