Hit & Run Accidents Lawyer in Kansas City
Recovering Compensation After a Missouri Hit & Run Accident
At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD, we understand the devastating impact that hit and run accidents can have on victims and their families. When a driver flees the scene of an accident, it can be especially difficult for victims to get the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit and run incident, our experienced Kansas City hit and run accident attorneys are here to help you seek justice and pursue the compensation you deserve.
To learn more about your legal options after a hit & run accident, call our office at (816) 542-5999 or submit an online request for a consultation.
Missouri Hit-and-Run Accident Laws
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a stressful and confusing experience. If you find yourself in such a situation in the state of Missouri, it is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding hit-and-run accidents.
Here is an overview of Missouri's hit-and-run laws to help you navigate the legal process:
1. Duty to Stop and Provide Information
Under Missouri law, if you are involved in an accident, you have a legal duty to stop your vehicle and provide certain information to the other parties involved. This includes:
- Stopping your vehicle at the scene of the accident, or as close to it as possible without obstructing traffic.
- Providing your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other party involved in the accident.
- If requested, showing your driver's license to the other party.
2. Duty to Render Aid
In addition to stopping and providing information, Missouri law requires you to render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident. This may involve calling emergency services or providing necessary aid until help arrives. Failure to fulfill this duty may result in criminal charges.
3. Reporting the Accident
If the accident involves injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500, you must promptly report the accident to law enforcement. This can be done by contacting the local police or the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol office. Reporting the accident is crucial for documenting the incident and initiating an investigation.
4. Penalties for Hit-and-Run Offenses
Missouri takes hit-and-run accidents seriously, and penalties for failing to fulfill the duties mentioned above can vary depending on the severity of the accident and resulting harm.
Penalties may include:
- Misdemeanor charges for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
- Felony charges for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death.
- Suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
- Fines, probation, or imprisonment depending on the circumstances of the case.
Recovering Evidence After a Hit & Run Accident
The odds of finding the driver who hit you and fled the scene are not in your favor. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly half of all hit & run accidents go unsolved by police. Even if the driver is caught, they may be unwilling to admit fault and may even claim that you were at fault.
Even in the best-case scenario, where the driver is convicted of a crime and admits fault, you may still face difficulty proving that you suffered injuries in the accident. This is because the driver will have already cleaned their vehicle and will claim that there is no evidence of damage.
Recovering Compensation for Injuries and Damage from a Hit & Run
While identifying and holding the responsible driver accountable may be challenging, there are steps you can take to recover compensation for your losses in Missouri.
The following are steps you should follow to seek compensation:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained in the hit-and-run accident, even if they appear minor. Medical documentation will not only ensure your well-being but also serve as crucial evidence of your injuries when pursuing compensation.
2. Report the Accident
Contact the local law enforcement authorities or the Missouri State Highway Patrol to report the hit-and-run accident. Provide them with all available information about the incident, including details of the vehicle, any identifying information, and the circumstances surrounding the accident. A police report will be essential for your insurance claim and potential legal proceedings.
3. Gather Information
If possible, collect as much information as you can at the accident scene. This includes:
- Writing down the license plate number, make, model, and color of the other vehicle involved.
- Taking photographs or videos of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and any visible injuries.
- Gathering contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident occur.
This information will be valuable for the investigation and can aid in identifying the hit-and-run driver.
4. Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your own insurance company promptly to report the hit-and-run accident. Provide them with all the relevant details, including the police report and any information you gathered at the scene. Your insurance policy may have specific requirements and time limits for reporting hit-and-run accidents, so make sure to comply with those guidelines.
5. Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In Missouri, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is optional, but it can be beneficial in hit-and-run cases. If you have UM coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, it can help compensate you for injuries and damages caused by a hit-and-run driver. UM coverage is designed to protect you when the at-fault party is uninsured, underinsured, or cannot be identified.
6. Consult with an Attorney
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Missouri, it is essential to contact law enforcement immediately to report the incident. Gathering as much information as possible, such as eyewitness accounts, photographs, or video footage, can greatly assist in identifying the responsible party.
Consider consulting with a skilled Kansas City hit and run accidents attorney who has experience in hit-and-run cases in Missouri. They can assess the specifics of your situation, advise you on your legal rights, and guide you through the process of pursuing compensation. An attorney can help you navigate insurance claims, gather evidence, and explore all available legal avenues to seek the compensation you deserve.
How Our Hit & Run Accident Attorneys Can Help
At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD, we understand that the aftermath of a hit & run accident can be a traumatic and frightening experience. Our Kansas City hit and run accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal system, investigate what happened, and gather evidence that will help you prove your case. We know that the compensation you need to recover will be hard to come by, but we are here to help you get it.
Call our office at (816) 542-5999 or submit an online request for a consultation today.