While laws in virtually every state including Utah require drivers to stop and exchange information or alert emergency medical services and render assistance in case of injuries, the sad fact is that some drivers will attempt to evade responsibility by fleeing the scene of the accident. Hit and run drivers who are located or turn themselves in to the authorities will face criminal misdemeanor charges in property damage cases or felony charges in those cases where injuries were sustained.
Hit and run accidents usually occur because the hit and run driver:
• Panics and leaves the scene without stopping
• Intentionally fails to stop because the driver has outstanding arrests warrants
• Intentionally flees because the driver is intoxicated and fearful of a DUI arrest
• Intentionally flees because the driver is unlicensed or is driving on a suspended license
• Intentionally flees because the driver has contraband in the vehicle
• Intentionally leaves because the driver did not have permission to operate the vehicle or stole the vehicle
Victims of hit and run accidents have the same rights to receive financial compensation for injuries and damages as do the victims of any other auto, truck or motorcycle accident. In cases where the hit and run driver is identified and the hit and run driver’s actions were intentional, the injured victim may be entitled to collect punitive damages in addition to special and general damages. However, in some cases the identity of the hit and run driver will never be determined; in such instances the victim will be limited to pursuing collision and uninsured motorist claims under his or her own policy.
Under Utah law uninsured motorist coverage must be equal to or higher than bodily injury liability policy limits unless the insured elects to sign a written waiver; the insured can also (and foolishly) reject uninsured motorist coverage altogether in writing, leaving that insured with no bodily injury recourse in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver or an unknown hit and run vehicle.
Attorney David Altman has been honored as one of the Best Attorneys of America and received the NAOPIA TOP TEN (10) award. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys is an organization devoted to recognizing the top Personal Injury lawyers in the nation and less than 1% of the more than 1 million attorneys in the United States have received this prestigious award.
Our law firm handles all aspects of personal injury cases with our no recovery, no fee guarantee. Please contact the Law Offices of David Altman, a top Saint George personal injury law firm dedicated to helping hit and run injury accident victims and winning their cases for over thirty five (35) years in Utah and California.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury in St. George, Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah and are seeking aggressive, competent and superior legal representation, please call us for a free no obligation, confidential consultation at (435) 688-9999.