Our attorneys see hundreds of car accident cases each year, none are more troubling than injuries caused by hit and run drivers.
These claims are often among the most difficult for us to get adequate compensation an injured person needs. Because these claims can be so difficult, our attorneys take a special pride in fighting hard for our clients injured in hit and run accidents.
We fight for you because the consequences of a hit and run injury can be physically, emotionally, and financially catastrophic. We believe that no one who is injured due to the negligence of someone else should have to suffer a lifetime of pain or struggle to pay bills. There are many ways hit and run accidents happen, and just as many ways an insurance company can get out of paying a fair settlement. The hit and run lawyers at Joel J. Kofsky will make sure that you and your family have the legal representation it will take to make sure you are not left with a life in ruins after suffering injuries from a hit and run driver.
Hit and Run Accidents by the Numbers
Philadelphia’s NBC10 News reported in February, 2019 that an average of 40 hit and run accidents were reported to Philadelphia Police from 2017 to the end of 2018. The vast majority of hit and run reports involve only property damage, like a side-swiped vehicle that was parked, but 24 of the hit and run accidents reported were fatal. Nine of those instances remain unsolved.
Research compiled by the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows that the reasons a driver flees the scene of an accident are as varied as the types of accidents that can happen. According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology for Biotechnology, the more guilty a person believes they are for the crash, the more likely they are to flee. Drug and alcohol use play a large role in the reasons people flee the scene of a crash.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that 201 pedestrians were killed in the state during 2018. Forty of those killed were over the age of 75. In recent years, Philadelphia Police have reported a noticeable increase in the number of hit and run accidents they are called to investigate. More than 14, 000 hit and run cases are filed each year in the city.
Pedestrians are the most likely to be struck and killed in hit and run accidents. Though pedestrian-involved accidents account for only 3.2% of the accidents in Pennsylvania, PennDOT reports that fatalities from these accidents are the third-highest of all fatal car accidents in the state. During 2018, 4,045 pedestrian-involved accidents resulted in 191 deaths, or about 16% of all fatalities that year.
Hit and Run Accidents Without Injury
The vast majority of hit and run accidents involve moving vehicles striking non-moving vehicles or objects, then leaving the scene. In fact, single car accidents are the most common type of car accident in Philadelphia. Statewide, car accidents that did not result in injuries resulted in an estimated cost of $12,110 in property damage per accident. Many insurance policies do not cover that much, possibly leaving the victim with thousands of dollars in uncovered loss.
It can be quite complicated to get the financial compensation you need to repair or replace a vehicle or other property that has been damaged by a hit and run driver. Often, insurance companies will offer a settlement of your claim quickly that does not cover all the costs of repair, forcing you to deal with the additional expense before you can move forward with your life. At Philly Injury Law, we think this is unfair, and it is our goal to see each client we help get the compensation needed to fix what was damaged in a hit and run accident.
Steps to Take When You are Involved in a Hit and Run Accident
There are a few steps you need to take after you have been involved in a hit and run accident to make sure you and your lawyer can easily file your claim with your insurance company.
First, if you can, call the police right away and then call emergency medical services if you were in the vehicle when it was struck. The police will create a report after the accident and can try to determine who the other driver was, if possible.
Second, if you were in the vehicle at the time, you need to go to the hospital or to a doctor right away. Even if you do not think you have been hurt, some injuries like concussions or whiplash may not show symptoms right away, and such injuries need to be treated right away. While you are under a doctors care, be sure to obtain copies of your medical records and any bills you incur from surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical procedures. These will be used to show the insurance company how much they should reimburse you for medical expenses.
Third, you or a friend or family member should take your car to be looked at by an automotive body repair shop. The mechanic can give you an estimate of how much damage your car suffered in the accident, which will constitute another aspect of your insurance claim.
Finally, you need to be able to prove to the insurance company that you cannot identify the other driver. If the police who came to the scene could not find the driver who caused the accident, they may want to look at traffic cameras or nearby security cameras to see if they can find the person responsible. If these leads do not identify the person responsible for the accident, you and your lawyer can demonstrate to the insurance company that you could not locate the person who caused the accident.
How We Can Help You
From the moment you call to set up a free consultation until long after we win a fair settlement for your hit and run injury and damages, our car accident lawyers will be there to help.
The first step our lawyers will take is to establish whether you have a claim. We will look at the evidence, police reports, medical documentation, and witness accounts to find the best way to proceed with your case.
Our staff will discuss your claim with your insurance company and begin the process of establishing what the losses you or your family have incurred as a result of a hit and run accident.
We will make sure that if you need medical treatment or physical therapy, the insurance company covers those costs. Damages to your car or property will be repaired, and we will make sure that whenever possible, you are not having to pay out of pocket.
When Philly Injury Law take on a hit and run claim, you can be sure we will win. We have extensive experience working with insurance companies and Philadelphia Police to get the most compensation from a hit and run accident.
The hit and run attorneys at Philly Injury Law will be there to help you through every step of this investigation. Once you and your attorney have gathered all the information needed to file your insurance claim, we will begin the process of filing your claim. Insurance companies will likely handle these claims differently depending on the details of your particular policy.
Your insurance policy may require a clause for contractual arbitration, requiring that your claim be presented before a panel of arbitrators. These arbitrators will include one selected by your insurance company, one selected by your attorney, and one selected by the first two arbitrators. This panel will determine how much compensation the insurance company is responsible for paying you, and so it is important to contact one of our attorneys who can select an experienced arbitrator on your behalf who will carefully consider the evidence and come to a reasonable conclusion with the other arbitrators.
Our attorneys have decades of experience working with hit and run cases in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. We understand that these cases are very stressful and can be difficult to understand and prove, which is why we provide our clients with the best representation available in their hit and run cases. We will work with you throughout every step of the claims process and will represent you during the arbitration process if your policy requires it. Contact our office right away to receive a free consultation if you have been hurt in a hit and run accident.