Louisiana Hit and Run Auto Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a Louisiana auto accident, you have likely been the victim of some other driver’s negligence. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you have been victimized twice. Louisiana law requires drivers to remain at the scene of an accident (or close by) and it is a crime to leave the scene. Criminal penalties can be as high as $5,000 and up to 10 years in prison. Under Louisiana law, “hit and run” is defined as “… the intentional failure of the driver of a vehicle involved in or causing any accident, to stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident, to give his identity, and to render reasonable aid.” See La. Rev. Stat., 14:100.
In terms of recovering money damages for injuries and property damage, hit and run accidents are legally complex because the identity of the wrongdoer is unknown (at least at first). But experienced Louisiana auto accident attorneys, like those at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC, can help. In general, victims of Louisiana car accidents have the right under Louisiana law to hold the negligent driver accountable. Claims can be made against a negligent driver’s insurance and a lawsuit can be filed to recover money damages to compensate the victim for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.
If you have been the victim of a hit and run driver, retaining experienced Louisiana litigators is important. It is important to investigate the accident and try and identify the perpetrator. In this age of cell phones, doorbell cameras, and traffic cams, it is difficult to get away with a hit and run accident. Local and state law enforcement may succeed in identifying the driver and your proven attorneys can help by searching for various types of evidence, including:
- Testimony from eye-witnesses who might be able to identify the driver and/or the vehicle involved
- Cellphone images or video uploaded to social media
- Video or images from dash cams or other cameras on the victim’s vehicle
- Street and traffic light cameras operated by the local municipality
- Nearby business security videos
- ATM cameras
- Nearby home security videos including doorbell cameras
- And more
Proving liability is easier if the perpetrator is identified. Moreover, if the driver and/or the vehicle has insurance coverage, then claims can be submitted to the relevant insurance company or companies.
Even if the perpetrator cannot be identified, insurance claims can still be made by victims of hit and run accidents. If the victim has his or her own auto insurance coverage, then financial compensation can generally be obtained through a claim made against the victim’s insurance policy. Under Louisiana law, every vehicle insurance policy must include what is called “uninsured motorist coverage.” See La. Rev. Stat., 22:1295. This type of coverage is designed specifically for situations like a hit and run accident or where the at-fault driver has no insurance. Often, resort to uninsured coverage is necessary even if the perpetrator of the hit and run accident is identified. Generally, the type of people who would flee the scene of an accident have some reason to flee like drivers without a license, those who are driving under the influence, those driving a stolen vehicle and/or those without insurance. Thus, even if the perpetrator is identified, there might not be an insurance policy against which to make a claim.
Mansfield Melancon Attorneys can Help!
If you have been injured in a Louisiana hit and run accident, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have proven experience with many types of personal injury cases including Louisiana automobile accidents. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.