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Hit and Run Detroit Lawyer: Do I Need One?

May 7, 2020 by Steven M. Gursten

Hit and Run Detroit Lawyer: Why Do I Need One?

Hit and run Detroit car accidents have skyrocketed increasing 36% between 2014 and 2018, compared to an 11% increase in the rest of Michigan. A hit and run Detroit lawyer can protect your legal rights to No-Fault benefits and other legal compensation after this type of accident.

The Motor City has the highest number of uninsured drivers in Michigan, with some estimates as high as 50% of all cars on the road uninsured. This leads to a much higher number of these crashes because uninsured drivers also face very significant criminal and civil penalties for driving uninsured.

If you’re involved in such a crash, you will want to review your case with an experienced hit and run Detroit lawyer to protect your legal rights. In one important respect, these type of motor vehicle crashes are like all other car accidents in Michigan in that people who are injured in these types of crashes are still able to receive No-Fault benefits to cover their accident-related medical bills and lost wages if their injuries prevent them from returning to work.

However, they are also very different in that the victims cannot sue an unidentified at-fault driver for pain and suffering and other legal compensation. There is often no police report made because the at-fault driver’s identity is unknown and because he or she fled the scene.

While a lawyer can now use reverse geofencing and perform social media searches to try to find eyewitnesses and sometimes even the fleeing driver himself, more often a hit and run Detroit lawyer can help an injured accident victim obtain No-Fault PIP benefits and comply with policy and notice requirements to file an uninsured motorist lawsuit to obtain legal compensation.

What is it?

A hit and run car accident occurs when a driver involved in a car accident – most often the at-fault driver who causes the car accident – flees the scene to avoid being held accountable. This is against the law.

Under Michigan law, a driver who is involved in a car accident – whether he or she caused the accident or not – must do the following:

  • Stop your vehicle at the scene
  • Provide your name and address, vehicle registration number to the police and others involved in the accident
  • Show your driver’s license to the police and others involved in the accident
  • Assist in getting medical aid for anyone who was injured in the accident

(Sources: MCL 257.617(1); 257.619(a), (b) and (c))

Failure to comply with these legal requirements could result in the fleeing driver being sent to prison, being forced to pay fines up to $10,000 and being found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor.

A lawyer can help victims with No-Fault benefits

If you’re injured in a hit and run car accident in Detroit, then a lawyer can help you get the No-Fault benefits you’re entitled to under the law.

These benefits include payment of: accident-related medical bills; attendant care services; replacement services; reimburse of lost wages.

A hit and run Detroit lawyer can also help with filing your application for No-Fault benefits, identifying the correct auto insurance company that has the highest priority to pay your claim for PIP benefits, including wage loss and incurred medical bills, and in filing an uninsured motorist claim against the correct insurance company and complying with all notice requirements in the insurance policy.

Specifically, you will file your No-Fault benefits claim with one of the following auto insurance companies who has the highest order of priority to pay your claim:

  • Your own insurance company if you have a No-Fault auto insurance policy in which you’re the “named insured”
  • The company through which your spouse has a No-Fault auto insurance policy
  • The company through which a relative who lives with you has a No-Fault auto insurance policy
  • The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, if you have no coverage through any of the above sources (the MACP will assign an insurance company to handle your claim)

(Sources: MCL 500.3114(1) and (4); 500.3115)

A lawyer can help with pain and suffering compensation

The harder part of any hit and run Detroit car accident is trying to obtain pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages for an accident victim when there is no actual at-fault driver to sue because he or she fled the scene.

Legal recovery for injuries and for pain and suffering compensation and “excess” medical benefits once the new No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage levels take effect in Michigan after July 1, 2020 will often be determined by whether a car accident victim has “uninsured motorist” or UM coverage or not.

Uninsured motorist coverage or UM coverage will apply because the driver that left the scene is treated as an “uninsured” driver according to the contractual language in your auto insurance policy.

If an injured accident victim has UM coverage, and if he or she provides the required legal notice and complies with all of the policy requirements, then compensation can still be obtained, just as it would against an at-fault driver.

If a victim has not purchased uninsured motorist coverage, and if a hit and run Detroit lawyer has been unsuccessful in identifying who the at-fault driver was, then the accident victim will be unable to recover any pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages for his or her losses, harms, and injuries from the crash.

This is why I strongly urge everyone to carry UM coverage (as well as underinsured motorist coverage) on their vehicles. The number of uninsured drivers on Michigan roads is increasing all the time. If you live or work in cities like the Motor City, where it is estimated that more than 50% of the drivers are driving without auto insurance, then your odds of being involved in these types of car accidents are much higher. Basically 1 out of 2 cars in the Motor City is “uninsured.” That’s a scary and extremely dangerous situation – both for those uninsured drivers and for YOU! The good news is that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is very inexpensive, and uninsured motorist coverage remains the best way possible to protect you and your family if you are involved in this type of collision car.

Hit and Run Detroit Statistics

Hit and run Detroit car accidents have increased approximately 36% between 2014 and 2018: 31,214 in 2014; 32,823 in 2015; 34,565 in 2016; 34,573 in 2017 and 34,628 in 2018.

By comparison these car accidents throughout the entire state of Michigan only increased approximately 11% between 2014 and 2018: 6,049 in 2014; 7,117 in 2015; 7,246 in 2016; 7,716 in 2017; 8,251 in 2018.

(Source: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts)

Need a hit and run Detroit lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law first

If you have been injured in a hit and run car accident and you need a hit and run Detroit lawyer, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.

Hit and Run Detroit Lawyer: Do I Need One?

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