If You are the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident With a Commercial Truck
If you are conscious at the accident scene, it will probably come as a shock if you see the truck flee the scene and take off, rather than the truck driver calling for help or coming to your car to offer assistance.
Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime. Running away from responsibility and refusing to help those who might be injured typically means they have done something wrong and have something to hide. Regardless of why or how the truck hit you, and if the truck driver flees the scene, it will be seen as an admission of guilt for the crime and acknowledgment of fault for causing the collision. Leaving the scene of an accident where somebody is injured and needs assistance is another crime. It is also a claim that you can make against the other driver or his insurance company to obtain financial compensation for your injuries, harms and losses.
Hit and Run Charges
Surprisingly, hit and run accidents involving commercial trucks happen more frequently than we would expect. Maybe the drivers are scared because if a truck driver is, for instance, driving while intoxicated that driver could lose his or her trucking license and job and also face criminal charges. The driver may also think he can escape responsibility for the harm he caused because the physical damage to the truck can very well go unnoticed by the truck driver’s employer.
Hit and Run Felony
Hit and run laws vary in different states but typically leaving an accident scene where somebody is injured and needs assistance or has died is a felony crime. Even when the injured party is the hit and run driver’s passenger, the law requires that driver to get the injured person medical assistance.
Hit and Run Punishment for Commercial Drivers
The penalty for hit and run drivers varies with the traffic laws and criminal codes in each state, and most states provide for suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. For a commercial trucker, suspension of the Commercial Driver’s License is almost certainly a given, no matter where you live and even if they were driving their own car and not a company vehicle. Hit and run convictions could cost the driver their commercial driver’s license, their job, and their livelihood. Fleeing the scene of an accident is never a good idea for a commercial truck driver.
What to Do if You Are a Hit and Run Victim
If you are able to make a telephone call, then you should call 911 for help. When medical help is on the way, you need to take steps to stay safe and protect yourself from further injury. You may want to think about any details you remember about the accident and how to locate the driver who ran off. Write these facts and details down which might help you locate the driver, such as:
- What the driver looked like;
- What the vehicle looked like;
- Vehicle license plate number;
- Company name on the vehicle;
- Witnesses’ statements;
- Time and location of the accident; or
- Anything else that might help the police locate this hit and run driver.
If there are witnesses present it’s a very good idea to take down their contact information as well, and especially find out if anyone took pictures or video of the accident with their phone.
You need to file a hit and run accident report with law enforcement. Once you file the report, the police can pursue the hit and run driver and bring that rogue trucker to justice. A hit and run conviction will almost certainly ensure that you win in a civil lawsuit. The jury may also award punitive damages (to punish) against the trucker and perhaps his or her employer.
Making Contact With an Experienced Truck Accident Law Firm
In order to make sure you are compensated for your injuries, you will need help to investigate and locate the trucker. Insurers deny claims as a matter of course, and they also work hard to find a reason to give you less money. Even if the hit and run driver reports the accident, the policy rarely, if ever, makes it an obligation to track you down to resolve the claim. In order to recover the maximum compensation for your:
- pain and suffering,
- medical bills,
- lost wages, and
- property damage
You need to hire an attorney with experience in tracking down people who do not want to be found and also in investigating companies who are liable for damages.
What If the Hit and Run Driver Cannot be Located?
Many insurance companies who are authorized to sell automobile policies are required by law to at least offer you “uninsured” motorist benefits. This is protection you can buy in case an unknown driver hits you and has no coverage on their vehicle or truck to pay you for your injuries and damages.
Although you might not wish to do it, this may be the only way you can receive any compensation for your injuries when the truck driver or any other driver hits you and leaves never to be found. Uninsured motorist benefits on your own car, or the car in which you are a passenger, can get you some compensation for your harms and losses when the responsible driver cannot be identified.
Uninsured motorist benefits can help cover your losses even if the responsible driver is located and there is no coverage on the driver or the vehicle they were driving.
Although the law requires cars to purchase liability insurance to protect others, not everyone obeys the law. They may not have purchased a policy in the first place, or had it lapse or canceled by their insurer.
What To Do After a Truck Accident – A Conversation With Darryl Isaacs
Attorney Darryl Isaacs sat down to address questions for those who have been involved in a crash involving big rig trucks or other large commercial vehicles. Join us in this radio episode of “Ask The Hammer,” the podcast exploring the legal matters that matter most. Play the episode directly below.
Call the Trucking Lawyers at Isaacs & Isaacs
Isaacs & Isaacs trucking accident lawyers have decades of experience in investigating the causes of truck accidents and who is responsible. We will be with you every step of the way as you go through this ordeal, to ensure that you recover the biggest settlement amount or jury award the law allows.
We have a 99% success rate in recovering maximum damages for our clients across the country. We will file a lawsuit against the hit and run driver, the trucker’s employer, and investigate and hold all parties who can be held responsible liable for your injuries.
You do not have to have any money to enlist our help. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis–we don’t get paid unless we get you your money. We have recovered over $900 million for our clients.
We know these dreadful accidents happen all the time, and we are on call 24/7 to help you as soon as possible. There are legal deadlines for filing a civil case, and insurance companies also have deadlines to file claims, so we will get started immediately to investigate your hit and run accident.
Call 800-800-8888 now or fill out our form online to speak to an Isaacs & Isaacs trucking accident lawyer without delay.