Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run crash, you are not alone. As of late March, Metro Nashville police had already responded to 1,278 hit-and-run crashes in 2022, and the numbers have been rising. Hit-and-run crashes are especially confusing because of the absence of a driver against whom to file a claim. The Nashville car accident attorneys at NST Law can help you explore your options and identify sources of compensation.
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Recent Nashville Hit-and-Run Accidents
The following hit-and-run accidents have made the headlines in recent months in the Nashville area:
- A 50-year-old pedestrian male was killed by a hit-and-run van driver that ran off the road on Murfreesboro Pike near Wilhagen’s sports bar.
- A 38-year-old pedestrian woman was killed inside a crosswalk by a hit-and-run SUV driver at the intersection of Dr. DB Todd Jr. Boulevard and Wheless Street in North Nashville.
- A 45-year-old male pedestrian crossed outside of a crosswalk on South Gallatin Pike and was killed after being hit by a Chevrolet Volt, thrown into another traffic lane, then hit by a black pickup, which fled the scene.
- A police officer sustained head and neck injuries after a hit-and-run driver in a silver Volvo SUV crashed into his stopped police car on Interstate 24 east, near Hickory Hollow Parkway.
- A 31-year-old man was severely injured while changing a tire on Briley Parkway North, near the Interstate 24 East exit ramp, after a hit-and-run driver in a red Mazda sedan crashed into him.
Legal Requirements After a Car Accident
Tennessee law requires all drivers involved in an accident to do the following:
- Remain at the scene
- Exchange insurance and personally identifiable information with the other driver
- Provide reasonable assistance as necessary to injured persons
Penalties for Hit-and-Run Drivers
Drivers who fail to remain at the scene face criminal prosecution under Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-101:
- Class E felony if the person knew or should have known the result was death
- Consecutive prison terms if the hit-and-run incident also results in charges of vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide
- Revocation of license
Class E felonies are punishable by imprisonment of one to six years and a fine of up to $3,000.
Hit-and-run crashes resulting in property damage only can result in misdemeanor charges. If the driver is also uninsured, the driver’s license is suspended for a period of at least one year.
What should I do when I am hit by a hit-and-run driver?
Take the following steps if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident:
- Call 911 and file a police report.
- Seek medical attention, even if injuries are not immediately apparent.
- Obtain the contact information of witnesses. Ask witnesses if they saw the license plate.
- Document the accident: take pictures and video, and write down what occurred.
- Retain receipts and medical documents during the course of treatment.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
How can I receive compensation after a hit-and-run crash?
When you have been injured in a hit-and-run crash, you may be overwhelmed with medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. The attorneys at NST Law understand the extensive losses experienced by car accident injury victims, and we can help you identify sources from which to claim compensation.
Our attorneys will look closely at the possibility of third parties that could have contributed to your accident. Third parties may include the following:
- The City of Nashville or County of Davidson if:
- Poor road conditions, signage, lighting, or other aggravating factors contributed to your crash
- The hit-and-run driver was known to have been driving a city or county-owned vehicle
- Property owners, if the crash took place on private property with a condition that contributed to the accident
- Vehicle parts manufacturers, if defective parts contributed to the crash
- Vehicle owners, such as companies that own the vehicle
- Other drivers involved in the crash
The hit-and-run unit is a division of the Metro Nashville Police Department that specializes in investigating hit-and-run crashes for the purpose of identifying hit-and-run drivers. Our firm also utilizes our own investigators to piece together what occurred and identify the driver, if possible.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Due to the high number of uninsured drivers in Tennessee, every Tennessee driver should carry uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is inexpensive. In the event you are injured due to the negligence of another driver (including hit-and-run drivers), it will cover you.
In the event the driver cannot be identified, you can recover damages from your uninsured motorist coverage up to your policy limits.
What if I was hit as a pedestrian?
If you own a vehicle for which you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim against your uninsured motorist policy. If the crash occurred on private property, you might be able to file a claim against the property insurance. Whether or not these options apply, it is important to contact a hit-and-run attorney to help you identify your options.
What types of compensation are available after a hit-and-run crash?
The compensation you recover will vary depending on the available insurance, coverage limits, and who is at fault, but you may be eligible to receive the following types of damages:
- Economic Damages
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of business opportunities
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damages
- Non-economic Damages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of bodily functions
- Loss of enjoyment of life activities
Punitive damages are available in cases where the injurious conduct was malicious, intentional, fraudulent, or reckless. This may apply to hit-and-run cases. However, punitive damages are only collectible from the at-fault party or their insurance company. You will not be able to collect punitive damages from an uninsured motorist policy.
How much time do I have to file a claim for compensation?
For most car accidents, the statute of limitations is one year. If a criminal investigation against the hit-and-run driver ensues as a result of the incident, the statute of limitations is extended to two years. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you of the statute of limitations in your specific case.
When should I contact a lawyer?
In light of the short statute of limitations, it is important to contact an attorney right away after your accident, even if the hit-and-run driver has yet to be identified. Our law firm of 34 attorneys and over 135 support staff members have vast resources available to investigate the incident and build the strongest case possible, but the process requires a substantial investment of time.
Early involvement will also provide us with access to evidence and witness statements while the information is fresh, and this can make a significant difference in our investigation.
How can a personal injury attorney help me with my hit-and-run accident claim?
Car accident claims are inherently complex, even without the added challenges presented by hit-and-run crashes. Even if you file a claim with your uninsured motorist policy, you may find that your own insurance company resists paying. Fault can still be disputed in hit-and-run cases, and the hit-and-run driver may be uninsured, even if found.
These challenges can seem insurmountable, but the experienced Nashville personal injury lawyers at NST Law can provide a detailed investigation into your accident, explore additional avenues for compensation, and ensure your own insurance company compensates you fairly and justly.
How much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge upfront fees. After we win and collect your compensation, we collect a percentage of your proceeds, which will be disclosed to you upfront.
Why is NST Law the best choice?
At NST Law, we are more than a hard-working, dedicated team of compassionate lawyers. We are champions for the injured. We can call ourselves champions because we go to battle on behalf of our clients, offering vigorous advocacy, and accepting nothing less than maximized compensation.
We negotiate skillfully with insurance companies and other liable parties, often reaching successful, generous settlements on behalf of our clients. When at-fault parties refuse to offer fair and just compensation, we will fearlessly and vigorously litigate your case in court.
Below are a few examples of the results we have achieved championing the cause of our clients:
- $1.4 million on behalf of a couple involved in a head-on collision
- $2.2 million on behalf of a young man injured in a car accident when a construction company failed to place traffic signs at an intersection
- $1.8 million on behalf of a 61-year-old woman catastrophically injured in a wreck
The statute of limitations in Tennessee is short. It is important to contact us before time runs out. Call the champs today to schedule your free consultation.
Our client was walking in a Tennessee gas station parking lot when he was struck by a commercial concrete truck. He broke both of his legs and underwent extensive medical treatment.