Although it is against the law for drivers in Tennessee and across the country to leave the scene of an accident, hit-and-run accidents continue to occur. Being involved in an auto accident is traumatic in most instances, and it can be even worse if the at-fault driver speeds away without stopping. Contrary to what most people believe, it might be possible to recover damages suffered in crashes that involve untraced drivers.
In such situations, the victim is advised to gather as much information as possible because it could benefit any claims that are filed at a later date. Depending on the severity of injuries, the victim — or a passenger in the vehicle — would be wise to use a mobile phone to photograph the accident scene, focusing on vehicle damage, the crash scene itself and any injuries parties sustain. Also, getting names and contact details of eyewitnesses is crucial.
Another crucial step is to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if no serious injuries are evident because some injuries could remain hidden for some time. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee is one year. Keeping a record of medical examinations, doctor’s bills, hospitalizations, and follow-up treatment or therapy can be presented as evidence even if the victim decides to pursue recovery of damages just before the one year limit is reached. Proof of lost wages and property damage to the vehicle can also be valuable.
Law enforcement and investigators in Tennessee catch up with most hit-and-run drivers eventually. When the driver who failed to stop at the auto accident scene is identified within the statute of limitations period, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. An attorney who is experienced in fighting for the rights of crash victims can also explore the possibility of recovering some of the damages through the client’s auto insurance.