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Who pays for the aftermath of a North Carolina hit-and-run?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

In North Carolina, car crashes are one of the top causes of injury and death. Those involved in collisions often rely either on insurance or on the resources of the person at fault for the crash to cover their property damage and injury-related expenses. Ideally, after a crash, everyone involved stops to check on each other and then follows the appropriate steps to notify the local authorities and handle the resulting insurance claims. Sadly, sometimes car crashes involve someone who has no interest in following the law.

Those who cause collisions will often try to avoid responsibility for their own bad choices by fleeing the scene and hoping that no one identifies them later. A hit-and-run crash may leave one person injured without support or just wondering how they will cover the cost of a wreck that they did not cause. Who typically pays for the damages generated in a North Carolina hit-and-run collision?

The other driver has liability if police can find them

The best-case scenario for someone injured in a hit-and-run collision is that police officers are able to track down the motorist who caused the crash. When a collision occurs someplace where there may be security or traffic camera footage, there could be images of the other vehicle, which would make it much easier for law enforcement to identify and locate the person at fault for the crash. Provided that the police can track down the driver who caused the collision, the person hurt in the wreck would be able to file an insurance claim. If the driver doesn’t have insurance or their policy is not sufficient given the scope of the damages caused in the wreck, the person affected in the hit-and-run crash might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

What if the other driver disappears?

Unfortunately, quite a few hit-and-run collisions in North Carolina remain unsolved each year. If the police cannot identify the driver at fault for the wreck, then the party affected may have no choice but to use their own insurance coverage. Those who have uninsured motorist coverage may be able to use their own insurance policy to cover crash costs. The unfortunate truth for those affected by a hit-and-run crash is that such matters are often a low priority for law enforcement. Regular communication with the police department and possibly an outside attempt to investigate may be necessary if people hope to cover the cost generated in a hit-and-run crash and hold the right person accountable for the wreck.

Understanding the options available after a North Carolina hit-an-run crash may benefit those worried about the financial aftermath of such a collision. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.