A driver involved in an accident can suffer injuries and property damage of varying degrees. The issues that arise after an accident are complicated and burdensome for an accident victim who is likely trying to pay medical bills and repair or replace damaged property. These issues become more complicated when the accident is a so-called “hit and run.” Leaving the scene of a car accident, known as a “Evading Responsibility” is a crime in the Connecticut. Whether the collision involved another vehicle, property, a pedestrian, or cyclists the driver is required to stop. The elements of the criminal charge for a “hit and run” are contained in Connecticut General Statute §14-224.
Because evading responsibility is a crime in Connecticut, if the fleeing driver is caught then your personal injury can also represent you in criminal court to help get restitution from the driver.
HIT AND RUN LAW IN CONNECTICUT
Connecticut law requires a motor vehicle operator who is knowingly involved in an accident to stop and render assistance as may be needed and provide an injured person, an officer, a witness, or an owner of damaged property with the operator’s name, address, and operator’s license and registration numbers. A Connecticut driver who fails to do this is subject to different penalties depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offense and whether the violation resulted in death, serious physical injury, physical injury, or property damage. Penalties range from up to one-year in prison, a fine of $75 to $600, or both to up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both
In many circumstances a person injured in a hit and run accident in Connecticut may never know who the operator of the other vehicle was. After a hit and run accident, you may still have the ability to obtain compensation. In these types of accidents, it is extremely important to note the following:
- The make, model and color of the fleeing car
- Any information available from witnesses
- Any part of the license plate number of the fleeing car
- Any identifying characteristics of the driver
- The direction or route of the fleeing car
UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
If the other driver caused the accident and is never found, you are likely left to attempt to obtain the compensation you need from your own insurance company. Some policies provide for coverage called uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you were in your own car at the time of the accident, you will be seeking compensation from your automobile insurance company, but if you were operating someone else’s motor vehicle you will likely be seeking compensation from the owner’s insurance company. If you have your own insurance, but you were operating or a passenger in another person’s motor vehicle, you may have the ability to seek compensation from both insurance companies depending on the coverage and policies that are in place. An experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney will help you navigate and discover any available insurance coverage.
LAWSUITS AGAINST DRIVERS WHO HIT AND RUN
In situations where the offending driver is found and has automobile insurance coverage in place, the circumstances change dramatically. The claim can now be pursued against the offending driver to seek compensation for injuries and property damage. In these situations, you are likely dealing with the other driver’s insurance company.
Regardless of whether the fleeing driver is located, the number of scenarios, potential defendants, potential insurance coverages available and the claims process all make these types of accidents among the most complicated. For example, if the other driver was operating a company vehicle, you may be able to hold the employer liable for damages, so long as the employee was acting within the scope of his or her job. You may also have the right to take action against the owner of a vehicle even if they weren’t driving at the time of the accident if the owner gave the offender permission to borrow their car. Additionally, if you were a pedestrian at the time of the accident, you may find yourself dealing with multiple insurance companies including a health insurer to cover your medical bills, potentially a homeowner’s insurance policy, or your own auto insurance depending on the terms and conditions of the policy. Given these concerns, it is important to involve an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf and to navigate the web of potential insurers and defendants.
CONTACT A CONNECTICUT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Connecticut it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon after the incident as possible. The experienced litigation attorneys at Aeton Law Partners can advocate on your behalf, help determine who the proper defendants may be and help to determine what rights you may have regarding compensation for your injuries.