Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident: What You Need To Know
When you have been injured in a hit and run pedestrian accident in Michigan, you may be entitled to recover pain and suffering compensation, No-Fault benefits to cover medical bills and lost wages and other economic damages. An experienced lawyer with proven results will fight for you and protect you.
Recovering the compensation and benefits you are entitled after an incident like this can be difficult, which is why it is so important that your lawyer have the skill and resources to handle your case.
Hit and run pedestrian accidents by definition involve a crash caused by an at-fault driver who flees the scene. Sometimes those at-fault drivers are caught. Unfortunately, sometimes they are not.
Although your right to recover No-Fault benefits is secure under either scenario, your ability to recover pain and suffering compensation can be made more difficult or thwarted completely when the at-fault driver flees the scene and is never caught and identified.
Your lawyer can help by trying to find the at-fault driver – or witnesses – through reverse-geofencing and social media searches. Your lawyer can also help you to comply with the policy and notice requirements for filing a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage.
Who causes a hit and run pedestrian accident?
A hit and run pedestrian accident occurs when the at-fault driver who caused the crash flees the scene to avoid being held accountable. Michigan law requires drivers to: (1) stop at the scene; (2) provide information; and (3) get medical aid as needed. (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.
Pain and suffering compensation for a hit and run pedestrian accident
If you have been injured in a hit and run pedestrian accident and you have been able to identify the at-fault driver who caused the injury, you may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation as well as compensation for excess medical expenses and excess lost wages.
Compensation for pain and suffering damages will allow recovery for: (1) physical pain and suffering; (2) mental anguish; (3) fright and shock; (4) denial of social pleasure and enjoyments; (5) embarrassment, humiliation or mortification; and (6) shame, mental pain and anxiety.
Compensation for excess medical expenses covers that portion of an injured pedestrian’s medical bills that exceeds the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level that was selected in the auto insurance policy through which he or she is claiming No-Fault benefits.
Similarly, compensation for excess lost wages covers the portion of an injured pedestrian’s lost wages that exceeds the monthly maximum and/or the three-year limit that are set by Michigan’s No-Fault auto insurance law.
Uninsured motorist benefits after a hit and run pedestrian accident
If you were injured in a hit and run pedestrian accident, but the at-fault driver was never caught and identified, then your uninsured motorist coverage will be your source for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages you would have otherwise recovered from the at-fault driver.
Although uninsured motorist coverage insurance is generally thought of as providing benefits when a person is injured by a driver who has no auto insurance, it also provides benefits when a driver causes a injuries and flees the scene and is never caught. Because the driver who fled the scene is never identified, nothing is ever learned about what insurance he or she may have and, thus, he or she is essentially an “uninsured” driver.
The specific details about who qualifies as an “uninsured motorist” and what notice requirements and filing deadlines you must comply with for your “uninsured motorist” claim will be set out in your UM policy.
However, if you do not have UM coverage and you have been unable to identify the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries, then you will be unable to recover any pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages for your losses, harms, and injuries from the crash.
You may be entitled to recover No-Fault PIP benefits after a hit and run pedestrian accident that will help to pay for medical expenses, lost wages (if your injuries prevent you from returning to work), mileage and transportation costs for traveling to and from your doctor appointments, household replacement services and attendant care services.
To be eligible, you must file an application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called a “written notice of injury” – with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year of the crash. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4))
The responsible auto insurance company will be one of the following: (1) your own auto insurance company; (2) the insurer for your spouse or a relative who lives with you; or (3) the auto insurance company assigned by the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (when No-Fault coverage is not available through any other source). (MCL 500.3114(1) and (4); 500.3115)
Filing the application for No-Fault benefits – and filing it on time – is extremely important because the failure to do so will give the insurance company a legal basis to deny all No-Fault benefits that you would have otherwise been entitled to.
Have questions? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you have questions about your legal rights and options after a hit and run pedestrian accident and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, 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 attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.