Oklahoma City Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
A hit and run accident occurs when a driver is involved in a collision and fails to stop and give their name, license number, and other information to the other driver and/or law enforcement. A person who causes an accident might leave the scene to avoid the authorities finding out that they were drinking, engaged in reckless behavior, do not have a license, or do not have insurance. Someone who leaves the scene of an accident could be met with criminal charges and may have a harder time convincing a jury or the insurance company that they are not at fault or did nothing wrong. An Oklahoma statute states that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death has a duty to give their information and render aid.
If you have been hurt in a hit and run incident, call an Oklahoma City hit and run accident lawyer today to schedule an appointment. An experienced attorney could review your situation and seek to claim damages that the responsible party owes you.
Common Patterns in Hit and Run Accidents
The biggest reason for a hit and run accident is usually late at night when the driver was drinking alcohol. Most of the time when a person knows they are under the influence and they cause an accident, they know they will be arrested or held accountable. The person may also leave the scene of the accident because they do not have insurance or they drove the car without permission of the owner. When someone leaves the scene of an accident, they may want to avoid responsibility because of the possibility of criminal charges.
Oklahoma has a statute that states when someone is involved in a hit and run involving property damage, the injured party can get treble damages, which is three times the actual damages. There are economic damages such as medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering, including the physical pain and emotional distress of the injuries.
The damages are no different than a regular car accident except an individual could get punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault driver who was driving while intoxicated, an unlicensed driver, or being a reckless driver.
When considering the economic and non-economic damages, the jury receives a jury instruction. There are variations for each case, but the jury may consider the injured person’s past, current, and future physical pain and suffering. They also take into account the person’s mental pain and suffering, their age, and their physical condition immediately before and after the wreck. The jury allows damages for the nature and extent of the injuries, any physical impairment and disfigurement, and whether the injuries are permanent.
Steps to Take After the Accident
There are three main steps a person should follow after being in an accident, which are:
- Call the police
- Seek proper medical treatment
- Talk to an Oklahoma City hit and run accident lawyer
By calling the police, law enforcement is able to make an immediate investigation to track down the hit and run driver. An attorney is going to get started on gathering evidence right away so that the injured person is able to file a claim in time.
Oklahoma City Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Can Help
An Oklahoma City hit and run accident attorney can help the plaintiff by investigating the incident and locating the party at fault. The lawyer can track the person down or hire somebody to do so. Sometimes, the police do not pursue a hit and run investigation, which is why it is even more important that you call an attorney. If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, call a seasoned lawyer right away.