Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Michigan
Were You Injured in a Michigan Hit and Run Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you can still pursue compensation for your injuries. While these car accidents can be more challenging to navigate, a hit and run accident lawyer with Lipton Law is ready to help.
Whether the driver at-fault is found, you can recover damages through a lawsuit (if found) or through a no-fault insurance claim (not found). Our personal injury attorneys can help you file your insurance claim or lawsuit to ensure you’re awarded maximum compensation.
Schedule a free consultation at Lipton Law by calling 248-557-1688 to understand your legal options following a hit-and-run accident.
What Is a Hit and Run Accident?
Typically, car accidents include the parties involved exchanging contact and insurance information and notifying the police of the accident. However, hit-and-run accidents differ since the at-fault driver flees the scene before telling the other driver or property owner.
Leaving the scene of a car accident is against the law and can result in fines and jail time. Despite severe punishments, these accidents happen all the time and leave victims footing the bills for medical treatments, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Common Causes of Hit-and-Run Car Accidents
There are many reasons why a driver would flee the scene of a car accident. They may be intoxicated, driving without insurance, or have other legal issues that they’re afraid of.
- Drivers Under the Influence: Many drivers often flee an accident if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may want to avoid a DUI arrest, especially if they have any prior offenses.
- Uninsured Motorists: Individuals that do not have the minimum requirements for insurance can face hefty fines and jail time if they’re caught. This is another common reason that drivers may leave the scene.
- Drivers with Legal Issues: Drivers on parole or with a suspended license may prefer to avoid getting caught following an accident to avoid more significant charges.
- Outstanding Warrants or Tickets: Someone with an outstanding warrant or previous moving violations may try to leave the scene of an accident to avoid losing their driver’s license and other penalties.
- Scared Driver: People often make quick decisions due to their fight-or-flight reflexes. Following an accident they’re responsible for can put this instinct into motion and cause them to leave the scene. Even drivers with clean driving records can leave an accident because of this instinct.
Michigan Hit and Run Collision Statistics
It can be difficult to understand why a person would flee the scene of an accident, but sadly, it happens all the time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 2,500 fatalities from hit-and-run accidents in 2019, an increase of 26% from the year before. Out of the 6,516 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, 1,582 were caused by hit-and-runs. That same year, 202 cyclists were killed by hit-and-run drivers.
In Michigan, the statistics for hit-and-run accidents are just as shocking. Over 34,600 hit-and-runs in 2018 contributed to over 10% of the overall number of car accidents throughout the state.
Hit and Run Laws in Michigan
When a driver hits another vehicle or pedestrian or damages property and flees the scene, they can face harsh punishments set in place by Michigan laws. Michigan Vehicle Code 257.618 states that if anyone believes that they have been involved in a car accident, they must remain at the scene until they’ve completed the requirements outlined in Michigan Vehicle Code 257.619. These requirements include exchanging information with the other driver and providing information to law enforcement.
Is a Hit and Run a Felony in Michigan?
If the hit-and-run collision causes serious bodily injury, the at-fault driver could be charged with a felony and face a maximum fine of $5,000 and prison time for up to 5 years. If the accident resulted in death, the punishment increases to a 15-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.
If the hit-and-run accident only damages a vehicle and does not cause injury or death, the driver responsible may be charged with a misdemeanor. The penalties for a misdemeanor hit-and-run can be a 90-day jail sentence and a fine of $100.
Can I Get No-Fault Benefits After a Hit and Run?
Since Michigan is a no-fault insurance state, car accident victims should be able to recover some compensation. Anyone injured in a hit-and-run accident is entitled to no-fault benefits, even if they do not have a vehicle or insurance coverage. In addition to drivers, these benefits apply to passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The damages covered by no-fault insurance are medical bills, care services, lost wages, and other accident-related benefits. Following your hit-and-run accident, an auto accident lawyer from Lipton Law will help you complete the necessary paperwork to receive no-fault benefits. Once the paperwork has been completed, your attorney will ensure you receive payment for the benefits promptly.
Can I Sue the Hit-and-Run Driver for Damages?
Filing a lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver can be challenging. Unless the driver is found, litigation will be impossible. However, if police locate the at-fault driver, you can sue the responsible party for damages. The driver will also face criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident.
Whether the driver is identified or not, accident victims can still receive no-fault benefits. If the driver is never located, individuals can also benefit from uninsured motorist coverage if they have that provision on top of their personal injury protection insurance. Anyone involved in a hit-and-run who wants to benefit from their uninsured motorist coverage must provide a copy of the police report along with their insurance claim. It’s essential to act quickly because any delay can result in forfeiting the benefits.
Settlement Amounts for Hit and Run Accidents
Settlements for car accident claims can vary depending on several factors. When determining amounts, the severity of injuries and the medical treatments received are evaluated. Other factors affecting your settlement amounts are the length of time you missed work and if you’ve suffered any permanent disabilities.
If you can file an uninsured motorist claim, you can recover the same damages that you would have had the driver been found. The damages an uninsured motorist claim covers include mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, disability, and more. Even if the at-fault driver is not located, working with experienced hit-and-run car accident lawyers can help you navigate the insurance claims process. Your attorney at Lipton Law will ensure that your insurance company provides fair compensation for your injuries.
What to Do After a Hit and Run in Michigan
Following a hit-and-run car crash, you can be in shock and unsure what to do. We’ve listed important measures to take following your accident that can help improve the chances the at-fault driver is found and strengthen a potential personal injury claim.
- Call 911: Immediately call 911 and report any injuries. While you wait for a police officer to arrive on the scene, begin documenting as much information as possible about the other driver. Write down the license plate number or partial number and anything else about the vehicle, like where the car was damaged, the color, make, and model.
- Talk to witnesses: If you’re able, talk to anyone that may have witnessed the accident. Get their contact information as well.
- Seek medical treatment: If you don’t think you’ve been injured, make an appointment with your doctor or medical professional to ensure you haven’t sustained any internal injuries. Many car accident injuries can appear after the adrenaline has worn off, so it’s important to seek treatment regardless of whether you think you’ve been injured. Getting checked out by a doctor after your accident can also help a personal injury lawsuit if you can pursue legal action against the responsible driver.
- Contact your insurance company: Reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. If the driver is never found, this can help jumpstart an uninsured motorist claim.
Working with the hit-and-run car accident lawyers at Lipton Law can increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. Even if the driver is never found, our attorneys can work with your insurance company to ensure they don’t lowball you when offering a settlement amount.
Statute of Limitations on Hit-and-Run Accidents in Michigan
If you were involved in an accident, you have three years to file a lawsuit, according to Michigan Compiled Laws 600.5805. The three-year clock starts ticking from when the accident occurred, so it’s crucial to contact a Michigan hit-and-run lawyer as soon as possible.
The three-year statute does not apply to uninsured and no-fault claims. You’ll need to act quickly to benefit from those provisions, as the timeline is much shorter. Remember that insurance companies often require a police report within 24 hours to be eligible for uninsured benefits.
What Damages Can I Get After a Hit-and-Run Crash?
The compensation awarded to a car accident victim can vary, but Michigan offers three different categories of damages. As we’ve mentioned above, the amount of your settlement will be determined by extenuating circumstances that vary case by case. You can rest assured that when you use Lipton Law for your hit-and-run cases, our legal team will do everything possible to recover compensation for your injuries.
Economic damages are awarded in personal injury cases to reimburse victims for expenses that have a monetary value. Examples include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- Mobility aids and services
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify as they have no monetary value. These damages cannot be proven with receipts or bills.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your loved one died from injuries following a hit-and-run accident, you could be entitled to damages from a wrongful death lawsuit. To understand more about filing a wrongful death claim, discuss your legal options with the compassionate attorneys at Lipton Law today.
How Can Modified Comparative Negligence Affect My Compensation?
Michigan follows the modified comparative negligence rules to determine the compensation amounts for accidents where the parties share fault. In cases where the blame is shared, the amount of compensation is reduced based on the percentage the party is held responsible for.
For example, if you’ve been involved in an accident and are determined to be 30% at fault, your compensation will be lowered by 30%. Based on the modified comparative negligence laws, anyone over 50% responsible for an accident cannot recover non-economic damages.
Thanks to a modified comparative fault, insurance companies look for any way to share the blame for an accident to lower the compensation awarded. This is why it’s highly recommended to talk to your attorney before contacting your insurance agency so that you don’t accidentally make a statement that makes you partially to blame.
Contact a Michigan Hit and Run Accident Lawyer at Lipton Law
At Lipton Law, we always aim to recover the maximum compensation our clients deserve, whether the driver responsible is located or not. Your car accident attorney can negotiate your claim with your insurance agency or file a lawsuit against the driver at fault. No matter what legal representation you need following your accident, you can always depend on Lipton Law.
To meet with an experienced hit-and-run attorney, contact Lipton Law at 248-557-1688 today.