A Fayetteville hit-and-run critically injured a woman recently. The 18-year-old driver, Dilon Parker, jumped out of his vehicle and ran from the scene after hitting the car of the 78-year-old driver, Eulene Wright. Two injured passengers in Wright's vehicle were airlifted to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Parker was arrested.
Protecting your rights in a hit-and-run accident is imperative. What can you do if you've been a victim of a hit-and-run? There is a risk you may be involved with an uninsured driver. Approximately 14% of North Carolina drivers are operating vehicles without insurance. Make sure your insurance covers uninsured motorists. If you are involved with an at-fault driver who does not have adequate liability insurance to cover your injuries, if you have underinsured motorist coverage that insurance will make up for the extra coverage. If you are involved in an accident with an unknown, hit-and-run vehicle that is at fault for the accident, the uninsured motorist's insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pain, suffering and emotional distress up to the limit of your policy. To maximize your case and insure the highest possible compensation:
- Report. Contact the police and file an incident/accident report. The insurance companies will use this in their review process.
- Keep all details. If possible, try to write down the make, model and color of the vehicle as well as the license plate number.
- Witnesses. Collect the names and addresses of all witnesses; this will also be a part of the insurance company's accident investigation.
- No repairs. Make no efforts to repair vehicle damage until an insurance representative inspects the vehicle, takes photos and files a report.
- File a claim. Submit a claim with your insurance provider at the earliest possible time.
When an accident results in injuries or death, convicted hit-and-run drivers face criminal charges punishable by extreme fines and time in jail, they can also be held liable for civil damages. Compensation may be awarded for loss of income, property damage, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Victims should also be aware that if a driver is charged with a hit-and-run offense while on the job, his employer can be held responsible for damages as well. An employer could be liable for an employee's wrongful conduct if the employee was in the "scope and course" of their job duties at the time of the accident.