If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, it may seem incomprehensible that someone would be reckless enough to hit you with his or her vehicle, and callous enough to leave you seriously injured in your car or on the roadway. Though there is no justification for such outrageous misconduct, most hit and run drivers are terrified rather than cruel.
Due to varying circumstances, they often fear severe punishment, such as long-term incarceration or deportation. For you, however, their reason for leaving you, potentially to die, makes no difference. Assuming you survive, you now face extensive medical care, possible permanent injury and a host of painful complications — physical, emotional and financial. If you are a Michigan resident, your one ace in the hole is having the outstanding personal injury law firm of Miller & Tischler, P.C. available to help you through.
How Our Hit and Run Accident Attorneys Will Help
Our team is fully aware of the devastating trauma you have been through and how far-reaching its consequences are. Our knowledgeable hit and run attorneys, assisted by our fine paralegals and other staff members, are ready and willing to take over all insurance and legal matters pertaining to your case. We will offer you compassion as well as diligence as we:
- Listen attentively to your account of the accident
- Investigate the accident site
- Scrutinize police reports
- Examine all medical data
- Interview witnesses
- Consult with experts in related fields (e.g. physicians, mechanics) with an eye to having them testify in court if necessary
You can count on us to navigate the justice system to your best advantage, even if the hit and run driver has not yet been located or turns out to be uninsured.
Reasons Drivers May Hit and Run
Hit and run accidents are never excusable. Though few hit and runs are deliberate, all are criminal. Those in which the driver is found to be at fault for causing severe personal injury are felonies, carrying penalties of up to 15 years in prison and potential fines of up to $10,000. You may wonder why anyone would risk the legal punishments of engaging in a hit and run, let alone how anyone can tolerate the guilt of committing such an immoral act. Here are reasons certain individuals may panic and leave the scene of the accident:
- They were driving without a valid driver’s license
- They were driving without registration or insurance
- They were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- They were driving while distracted
- They were driving without the vehicle owner’s permission
- They were driving a stolen car
- They were guilty of another crime for which they fear being arrested
- They are fearful of accumulating points that will cause loss of their driver’s license
- They fear publicity and a damaged reputation
- They feel losing employment, especially if they hold a CDL
No matter what rationale hit and run drivers use, they are guilty (in addition to any of the offenses mentioned above) of  leaving the scene of an accident without providing information to the other driver or the police and  not attempting to assist a person who has been injured.
At Miller & Tischler, we are dedicated to finding the hit and run driver and holding that person accountable for all you have suffered. We are well aware that your injuries may be far worse as a result of not getting more immediate medical attention, and that this, too, is the fault of the driver who left you helpless.
Finding the Culprit in a Hit and Run Accident Has Become Much Easier
In recent years, many tools have become available to aid law enforcement officers in finding hit and run drivers. For one thing, witnesses can now take immediate photos with their smartphones, providing reliable evidence. For another, the internet and computer data banks can help police run license plates swiftly and accurately and trace steaks of paints and car parts with ease.
How Insurance Claims Work in the State of Michigan
Certain aspects of personal injury law differ from state to state. In Michigan, there are two basic principles: no-fault and modified comparative negligence.
Compensation: no-fault insurance and uninsured motorist claims
Michigan hit and run claims give rise to two main compensation claims. The first is under our state’s no-fault insurance law. Known as a “first-party claim,” this will provide you with personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for your economic losses, including:
- Allowable medical and rehabilitation expenses for life.
- Wage loss benefits for a three-year period.
- Replacement service expenses for a three-year period.
- Survivor’s loss benefits for a three-year period after a wrongful death
When you are working with our team of experienced attorneys, you can be confident in our strategic skills. We will ally ourselves with your physicians to prove that your injuries rise to the level that makes you eligible to file a third-party claim.
The second main compensation claim is under your own uninsured (UM) motorist policy. Unfortunately, more than one-fifth of all drivers in Michigan do not carry UM. If you are one of them, you cannot open a claim for no-fault benefits or go after the at-fault vehicle for pain and suffering compensation. If you find yourself in this challenging situation, one of our sharp hit and run accident attorneys will provide you with the best chance of having your needs met.
Modified Comparative Fault
Modified Comparative Fault addresses the issue of shared blame. Though it may be hard to imagine a more clear-cut case of sole responsibility than a hit and run accident, in fact, there are occasions in which the court assigns some blame to the injured party. Examples can be found when the driver or pedestrian injured has violated traffic law. The injured driver, for instance, may have been speeding or driving while impaired; the pedestrian may have run into the street between parked cars.
In such ambiguous situations, the court will consider the facts and assign a percentage of blame to each person and the awarded damages will be adjusted accordingly. If you are found to be, for example, 10 percent to blame for your own injury, you will receive only 90 percent of the awarded damages.
Contact Miller & Tischler as Soon as Possible
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you need one of our savvy car accident attorneys at your side to handle the many complications that may arise, whether the party who hit you is arrested or never found. Our team knows all the ins and outs of hit and run accidents and will provide you with superior legal representation when you need it most.