If you suffered injuries and property damage in a hit and run accident, you might be curious about how much compensation you may recover. The truth is, there is no such thing as an average hit and run accident compensation. Each case presents unique facts and circumstances that make it impossible to generalize from one scenario to the next.
You may feel overwhelmed by all you have to deal with—mounting medical expenses, an inability to work, and your responsibilities at home. But don’t lose hope. You do have options after a hit and run accident. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to review your options for compensation.
Hit and Run Laws in Kentucky
Leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging information, rendering aid, or notifying law enforcement as required under Kentucky law could result in criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage qualifies as a class A misdemeanor. These offenses carry penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $500.
When a hit and run accident creates more serious consequences, the offender may be charged with a felony hit-and-run, which is punishable by one and five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Additionally, the driver may have their license suspended or revoked and face a civil lawsuit from the injured parties.
What Are Kentucky Drivers’ Obligations for Insurance?
When pursuing compensation for a hit and run accident, your attorney may initially advise you to review your insurance policy. Kentucky requires all vehicle owners to maintain insurance on their vehicles. A failure to do so may cause you to lose your license. Drivers may also be subjected to a fine of $500 to $1,000, a sentence of up to 90 days in jail, or both.
All owners of motor vehicles in Kentucky must carry minimum liability coverage. The insurance must meet the following liability requirements:
- $25,000 for all claims for bodily injury damages sustained by one person,
- $50,000 for all bodily injury damages sustained by all persons as a result of an accident, and
- $25,000 for all property damage as a result of one accident.
Alternatively, one may purchase a policy with a single limit of $60,000.00. The policy must also provide basic reparations benefits unless the insured vehicle is a motorcycle.
What Are My Options to Seek Compensation?
Even if the driver that hit you had the minimum requirement for liability coverage, it hardly helps you if they decided to break the law and leave the scene of an accident. Hit-and-run accident damages prove more difficult to recover because the liable party has fled the scene to escape the consequences. And despite the diligent efforts of law enforcement, the responsible party may never be located. However, there are options to seek compensation.
One option to seek hit and run accident compensation may be available through your uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage plan. UM/UIM coverage protects you in the event of a collision with a motorist lacking liability auto insurance. Your monetary relief in this situation comes from your own insurance company and covers you for your injuries up to your policy limit. In other words, if the at-fault driver’s insurance fails to adequately provide sufficient financial relief for your damages, you may seek additional protection from your UM/UIM coverage.
Remember that insurers are required to offer UM/UIM coverage when you purchase auto insurance, but you can reject it if you do so in writing. So, chances are that you have UM/UIM coverage.
Compensation for a Hit and Run Accident Through a Lawsuit
If your hit and run driver is apprehended, you may wish to pursue a lawsuit against them for compensatory damages. Kentucky law permits injured victims to recover compensatory damages in the form of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent specific monetary losses resulting from your accident and include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses due to your injuries,
- Lost wages from an inability to work due to your injuries,
- Property damage,
- Future loss of earnings due to your injuries.
Evidence supporting your claim for economic damages comes from documents like bills, invoices, pay stubs, and other similar documents.
Non-economic damages include less tangible losses tied to emotional and psychological losses due to your injuries, including:
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental and emotional distress,
- Loss of companionship and household services, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Recovering non-economic damages without the assistance of an attorney is extremely difficult. These damages are significant; indeed, non-economic damages are often greater than economic damages.
Punitive damages may also be recoverable in certain circumstances. In contrast with the purpose of compensatory damages, punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for their conduct and deter future similar behavior. Speak with your attorney to determine whether punitive damages may be appropriate in your case.
At Gladstein Law Firm, we understand you may feel betrayed, angry, or devastated after a hit and run accident. These feelings don’t have to paralyze you. Instead, let them energize you to pursue the justice you deserve. Understanding your options after a hit and run accident requires the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. It may feel hopeless, but you do have options. Seth Gladstein enjoys the benefit of over a decade of experience working the defense side of personal injury law. This experience provides his clients with the use of an attorney that knows all the tricks employed by defendants and insurance companies. With this firsthand knowledge, Seth can devise a plan to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering.
When you seek help from the Gladstein Law Firm, you receive personal care and attention and the highest caliber legal representation. We fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve so you and your family can move forward. Contact us today for a free case consultation.