If I Was Injured in a Hit-and-Run, Do I Have a Claim?

Nevada law is crystal clear that anyone involved in an accident must immediately stop their vehicle and swap information with the other driver. This duty applies whether you were at fault for the accident or not. Sadly, many motorists flee the scene of the crash. Maybe they have a criminal record and are afraid of another conviction, or they have been drinking and know they’ll fail a breathalyzer. Whatever their reasons, they refuse to stop and help an injured accident victim.

At Ladah Law, our Hit & Run Las Vegas Accident Attorney receives many panicked calls from members of the public injured by fleeing motorists. Below, we reproduce some of the most common questions and answers to give the public an understanding of their rights. Contact us to learn more.

Can I Receive Compensation If I Was Hurt in a Hit-and-Run?

Possibly. Under Nevada law, you can receive compensation provided you are not more at fault for the accident than the other party. This means you can be up to 50% responsible, but not a smidge over. This rule applies to all accidents, including hit and run collisions.

Let’s take a common situation. You are late for work, so you back out of a parking spot without really looking in your mirrors to see if anyone is coming. A speeding motorist also fails to pay sufficient attention while driving by, and the two of you collide. Because you didn’t use your mirrors, you weren’t driving with reasonable care. Consequently, you bear some responsibility for the crash.

Las Vegas Child Car Accident

Pedestrians can also be negligent. You might have been jaywalking when a careless driver clips you. Here, you are not following the rules, which is to cross the road at the intersection, so you bear some fault for the accident. But the driver who hit you might also bear some fault.

Meet with an attorney to review your accident. At Ladah, our Las Vegas Accident Lawyer will review the facts to allocate fault and do everything we can to help you. If you are 50% or less at fault, we can assist filing a claim for compensation.

How Do I Receive Compensation if the Driver Fled?

There are a couple ways. First, the police might find the driver. That is always a possibility. If you were struck near a commercial establishment, surveillance video might have captured the accident, or witnesses could point to the direction in which the driver fled. If you identify the driver, you can make a claim on his or her insurance policy.

The second option is to make a claim on your uninsured motorist policy, called “UM.” Under Nevada law, insurance companies must offer UM policies to anyone who purchases insurance. Check whether you picked it up. If you did, you can contact your insurer and begin the claims process for a hit-and-run.

Although you pay for UM insurance, it only covers accidents where you are not primarily at fault. That’s why fault is such a key concept. So long as you weren’t more than 50% to blame, you can make a UM claim.

Should I Call the Police after a Hit and Run?

Yes. Nevada requires that you report all accidents. If you don’t, you could have your license suspended.

To comply with the law, you should immediately call the local police and report the crash. They might send an officer out to draft a written report.

What Information Should I Share with the Police?

Share information that will help them find the driver who hit you:

  • The make and color of the car (such as “red Toyota” or “black BMW”)
  • The direction the car fled
  • Any description of the driver
  • The license plate number (or as much of it as you saw)

The police can publish a bulletin asking the public to share any information they have. Police can follow up on leads to find the driver.

Will the Police Really Search for the Driver?

It depends. The police have limited resources, so they prioritize certain crimes over others. If the hit and run accident caused only car damage, then the police might not search too hard. However, because you suffered a bodily injury, the odds are higher they will track down leads to find the suspect.

What Compensation Can I Receive for a Vegas Hit-and-Run Accident?

You might qualify to receive compensation for:

  • Medical care to treat your hit and run injuries. This care includes any hospital bills, surgical costs, doctor visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy or rehab, and other related expenses.
  • Lost income or lost wages, including loss of earning capacity. You probably need to take some time off to recover from the accident. A serious injury might force a permanent change in career to a lower-paying job.
  • Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle.
  • Pain and suffering, along with related intangible losses. Some of our clients suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or severe depression.

Of course, you can also seek this compensation from the at-fault driver—if you can find them. You might also request punitive damages as a form of punishment.

What If I Was Hit by a Driver in a Rental Car?

They should still have insurance coverage that comes with the rental. You can also make an uninsured motorist policy claim on your own UM coverage.

Can I Sue the Rental Company for My Hit-and-Run Accident?

Generally, no. Rental companies are normally shielded from liability. There are some exceptions though. For example, the car might have been defective in some way. If the brakes failed and the driver fled, you might sue the rental company for failing to maintain their fleet.

Second, the rental company might have handed the keys to a risky driver. For example, the driver might not have had a valid driver’s license, or the driver was intoxicated or having a mental health episode when the company rented the vehicle. In these situations, the rental company could be legally liable.

Of course, you need to trace the car that hit you to a rental company in the first place. This can be difficult, if you didn’t really see the car that struck you.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Hit-And-Run Claim?

We recommend hiring a Las Vegas Accident Lawyer. Many people are surprised at how difficult it is to make a UM insurance claim. After all, they pay for this insurance. So why is their insurer rejecting their claim?

You must realize that insurers always try to limit the compensation they pay—even to the people who pay their policy! For example, your insurer might offer only a few thousand for pain and suffering even though your pain is immense. Or they might even claim you are primarily responsible for the accident and should receive nothing.

As your attorney, we can negotiate with your insurer to make sure you receive the maximum possible. Let us be your voice in these negotiations.

Contact Our Hit & Run Las Vegas Accident Attorney

Hit and run accidents are horrifying. In addition to suffering from painful injuries, accident victims struggle with knowing a callous driver fled away in their moment of greatest need. Fortunately, a hit and run claim can get you compensation for all your various losses.

Call Ladah Law Firm today (702) 252-0055. We can help you take control of the situation. We will listen to you describe your hit and run and strategize ways of seeking a measure of justice. We can also negotiate with your insurer for fair compensation to cover your injuries.