Being involved in a car accident can turn your life upside down 1in an instant. A hit-and-run accident can be even more stressful, since it may not be immediately clear who the other party was and how you’ll get compensation for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and other losses.
Fortunately, you may still be able to get the compensation you deserve. An experienced Cheyenne car accident lawyer can help you explore your options and pursue financial recovery for your medical expenses, lost wages, damaged property, and more.
For over a decade, the Olson Law Firm, LLC has fought hard to help accident victims make a full physical, emotional, and financial recovery after suffering injuries due to other people’s negligence and recklessness. Attorney Sean Olson started the Olson Law Firm, LLC to provide legal representation that combined legal skills with attentive client service and a compassionate approach that recognizes the difficulties our clients are going through.
Sean provides every client with the focused attention they deserve. He takes the time to personally meet with every client, hears their stories, and answers all the questions they have about the legal process. Sean puts in whatever work is needed to pursue the best possible outcomes, including preparing each case as if it were going to trial.
But our clients are never just cases. They’re part of our family. Even once your claim is resolved, Sean always remains available to talk about your continued recovery and to answer any questions you may have down the road.
Don’t wait another day to begin the process of seeking financial recovery after being hurt by a hit-and-run driver in Cheyenne. Contact us for a free initial case evaluation to discuss the details of your claim and to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing financial compensation.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident in Cheyenne?
Wyoming law requires any driver involved in a motor vehicle accident to stop at or return to the scene of the accident and exchange license, registration, and insurance information with the other motorists involved in the accident or with law enforcement officers who respond to the accident scene.
However, sometimes a driver may fail to stop after an accident or return to the accident scene. This type of accident is called a hit-and-run. In Cheyenne, it constitutes a criminal misdemeanor, or in some circumstances, a felony.
Drivers may commit a hit-and-run for all kinds of reasons. They may not realize they have been involved in a collision. They may fear legal repercussions from the accident, especially if they are intoxicated or are wanted for other crimes. They may simply want to try to avoid financial liability if they believed they caused the accident.
Can I File an Insurance Claim After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Cheyenne?
If you’ve been hit by a driver who flees the scene and cannot be identified, you may think that you have no way to seek compensation for your injuries or vehicle damage. However, you may still have options for filing an insurance claim after a hit-and-run accident. For example, you might be able to file a claim under the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your own auto policy.
Although this coverage is normally intended for accidents involving a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance, a hit-and-run driver who cannot be identified or located is treated as not having insurance, entitling you to file a UM claim. This will allow you to recover compensation for your losses up to the limits of your uninsured motorist policy.
You might also seek compensation for the repair costs for your damaged vehicle, or the cash value if your vehicle is totaled, from collision and comprehensive coverage if you purchased such coverages for your auto policy.
Keep in mind that even when dealing with “your” insurance company, the adjuster still wants to pay out as little money as possible. Our Cheyenne personal injury attorney is prepared to stand up for your interests and pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Determining Negligence in Hit-and-Runs
Even when you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Cheyenne, you may still need to prove that the hit-and-run driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident to be entitled to recover compensation. Although this might seem easier if the other driver can’t be identified and give a statement regarding the accident that contradicts your own statement, other physical evidence from the accident may shed light on the issue of fault for the accident. You may not even realize, because the other driver fled the accident scene, that you were partially at-fault for the accident.
When you were partially responsible for an accident where the other driver unlawfully left the scene, you may still be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Wyoming utilizes a modified comparative negligence rule for motor vehicle accident cases. Under this rule, you may still bring a claim against another party at-fault for a motor vehicle accident so long as your share of fault is not as great as or greater than the share of fault of the other party. In other words, so long as you were less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you can still bring a claim.
However, the total compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and losses from the accident will be reduced in proportion to your share of fault for the accident. For example, if you suffered $100,000 in losses for an accident that you were 30 percent at fault for, your compensation would be reduced by $30,000 to reflect your share of fault.
Compensation in Hit-and-Run Lawsuits
When you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you deserve to seek compensation for losses that you have or will incur due to your injuries, including:
- Medical treatment, including ER and hospital visits, surgeries, prescription medication, and medical equipment costs
- Physical and other rehab
- Long-term personal care services
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Lost quality and enjoyment of life, such as due to disabilities or reduced life expectancy caused by your injuries
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional anguish or distress caused by your injuries and medical recovery
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Cheyenne
After you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Cheyenne, you can take actions to help preserve your rights to pursue financial compensation for the injuries and losses you sustained in the accident. These steps include:
- Make sure that the accident has been reported to the police and that they have drafted a police accident report. Request a copy of this report from the police department, as insurance companies may deny motor vehicle accident claims without this report.
- Follow up with any eyewitnesses and with the owners or operators of any nearby surveillance cameras, since witness statements or surveillance footage might help you and the police identify the hit-and-run driver.
- Notify your auto insurer of the accident. You may be entitled to file a claim under the uninsured motorist coverage in your policy. However, your policy likely requires you to notify your insurer of any accident you were involved in within a certain time following the accident.
- Get examined by a physician as soon as possible after the accident, even if you don’t feel like you were injured at first. You may not feel pain or other symptoms of injuries for days or weeks following the accident. But waiting too long to seek medical attention or get treatment for injuries you suffered in the accident may cause the insurance companies to argue that your injuries didn’t result from the accident or that you weren’t as seriously injured as you claim.
- Keep a diary or journal of your recovery from the injuries from the accident. Discuss the pain and difficulties that your injuries and treatment and rehabilitation cause you, as well as the effect that your injuries and any resulting disabilities have on your personal relationships, daily living, or ability to enjoy life’s activities. This diary or journal can help support your claim for compensation for the pain and suffering or lost quality of life you have had to endure.
- Speak to a hit-and-run accident attorney about your legal rights and options. Even if you can’t find the hit-and-run driver to bring a claim for compensation, you may have other options available to you to secure financial recovery. Our experienced attorney can help you explore all potential avenues of recovery.
Contact a Cheyenne Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured by a hit-and-run driver in Cheyenne, you may still have options to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact a Cheyenne personal injury attorney from Olson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to learn more about how our firm can help you pursue financial recovery.