Hit and Run Accidents
State law in Kentucky and Ohio requires all motorists who know they have been involved in car accidents to exchange information with the other parties involved and render aid, if necessary. When a driver leaves the scene of a collision without taking these steps, it is commonly referred to as a “hit and run” or “hit skip” accident.
Hit and run crashes can be extremely frustrating experiences for victims because not only must they deal with the many costs of caring for their injuries caused by another party’s negligence, but there can be uncertainty about whether the offender will be brought to justice. Even if apprehended, negligent drivers will frequently attempt to shirk responsibility by claiming they did not know they had caused or were involved in the collisions.
Lawyer for Hit and Run Accidents in Cincinnati, Ohio
If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a collision caused by a hit and run driver, do not delay in seeking legal representation. Steiden Law Offices handles car accident cases on a contingency fee basis so clients do not have to worry about paying us anything unless we get them monetary awards.
Our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys represent hit skip crash victims in communities throughout Hamilton County, Clermont County, Warren County, and Butler County in Ohio as well as Boone County, Campbell County, and Kenton County in Kentucky. We will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case so you can understand your legal options when you call to schedule a free initial consultation.
Overview of Hit and Run Crashes in Kentucky
- What should a person do after being involved in a hit skip accident?
- How do victims in hit and run collisions obtain compensation?
- Where can I learn more about hit skip crashes in the Cincinnati area?
The immediate aftermath of any automobile accident can be an incredibly disorienting experience for the people involved. When the drivers who caused crashes flee the scenes of the collisions, it only adds another level of frustration and confusion to an already very stressful time.
People who were injured in an accident caused by a hit and run driver must try to remain calm and follow certain steps in order to give themselves the best chance of helping apprehend the negligent driver and, thus, obtaining compensation for the damages that motorist caused. Victims who suffered particularly serious injuries should clearly make seeking medical treatment their top priority.
Anybody else who has been involved in a hit skip collision should take the following steps to ensure that they have the best chance of getting justice:
- Write Down All Information About the Negligent Driver, But Do Not Attempt to Follow Him or Her — Even if you did not get a good look at the actual person who was driving the other motor vehicle, be sure to immediately make note of any and all details about the automobile that person was driving as well as the time of the crash. The color, make, model, and license plate can all help authorities capture the negligent driver. Whatever the specific situation might be, do not under any circumstances attempt to chase down or confront that motorist. Not only might you have sustained injuries that could increase your chances of causing another accident, but you have no way of knowing about the state of mind of the negligent driver who could, for all intents and purposes, be a dangerous criminal already fleeing police for a separate criminal offense.
- Call 911 — File a police report and be sure to provide authorities with as much information about the negligent driver as you can remember. Try to limit your statements to just the facts of the case and do not, under any circumstances, admit to any fault.
- Get Contact Information for All Witnesses — If anybody else saw the collision, be sure to get their names, phone numbers, and/or any other information that will allow you to contact them and possibly provide their versions of events later on.
- Take Pictures — Most modern cell phones have cameras, and you should use whatever camera you can find to take as many photographs as possible of the accident scene. Take multiple pictures from different angles and also be sure to take pictures of any injuries. No attorney will ever tell a client that he or she took too many pictures.
- Seek Medical Attention — Assuming that your injuries were not sever enough to require immediate medical care, you should still be sure to visit a hospital just to be sure. Several serious injuries do not display immediate symptoms, and any failure to seek medical attention may be used against you later on if the injuries manifest themselves later on.
- Contact a Lawyer — A personal injury attorney can conduct a separate investigation to attempt to catch a hit and run driver. Furthermore, having legal counsel to represent you during any conversations with insurance companies will help make sure that you do not say anything that jeopardizes your personal injury claim.
For many victims in hit skip cases, the primary concern following a hit and run accident is how they will be able to pay numerous bills if the negligent driver is never caught. The good news is that hit and run victims generally have two options for recovering compensation in these types of cases:
- The Negligent Driver’s Insurance Company — Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in both Kentucky and Ohio. When a hit and run driver leaves the scene of a crash that resulted in serious injury or death, the crime is classified as a felony offense. If the negligent driver is convicted of this crime, it can mean that an accident victim is entitled to substantial damages from that motorist’s insurance company. Hit and run victims may be entitled to economic damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills and lost wages and noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. In cases of hit skip crashes, victims may also be entitled to punitive damages which are imposed largely to punish the negligent driver and discourage him or her (and others) from engaging in similar conduct.
- The Victim’s Insurance Company — Even when a negligent driver in a hit and run accident is never brought to justice, a victim can still recover compensation from his or her own insurance company. Neither Ohio nor Kentucky require that motorists carry uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, but such policies generally make it easier for victims to file claims in these cases. Victims who do not have either of these types of insurance policies may still be able to seek compensation from their own insurance companies, but the processes can be different as Kentucky is a “no-fault” state in which insurance companies will pay for injuries regardless of fault while Ohio is a traditional fault state in which the person who caused the accident is liable for all injuries. It is important to keep in mind that even if you have a UM or UIM policy, an insurance company will not simply cut you a check. Insurance companies are businesses that make money by minimizing the payouts on all claims—even for those of their own customers—and your own insurer will not hesitate to use any misstatement or alleged error in your handling of the case as a reason to deny your claim. It is critical that you have an experienced attorney represent you in any and all dealings with insurance company representatives.
Traffic FAQ | Police | City of Cincinnati — Find answers to frequently asked questions about automobile accidents on this section of the Cincinnati Police Department website. Learn how long it takes to investigate hit skip accidents and how long it takes to retrieve vehicles once they have been impounded after hit and run collisions. Hit and run accidents in Cincinnati are typically handled by the police department’s Traffic Unit.
Cincinnati Police Department
310 Ezzard Charles Dr
Cincinnati, OH 45214
Hit-and-Run Reward | Stop Hit-and-Run Drivers — The Hit and Run Reward Program offers anonymous tipsters rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and felony conviction of hit-and-run drivers. On this website, you can learn more about how the program works, how to become an anonymous tipster, and hit and run accident statistics. You can also find articles and blog posts about hit and run crashes.
Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
Did you suffer any kind of catastrophic injury or was your loved one killed by a negligent driver who left the scene of the accident? It is in your best interest to retain legal counsel before you speak to any insurance companies so you can recover the compensation you need for your financial hardships.
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys of Steiden Law Offices represent clients all over Kenton County, Boone County, and Campbell County in Kentucky as well as Butler County, Hamilton County, Clermont County, and Warren County in Ohio. Call or fill out an online contact form today to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions.
This article was last updated on Thursday, August 31, 2017.