If you’ve been Involved in a Pittsburgh hit and run accident, the expert car accident lawyers at Munley Law are here for you. Contact us for a free consultation today.
Pittsburgh is often rated one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania. It offers a mix of both urban and suburban amenities, quality schools, and is often considered a safe and all around nice place to live. Even still, hit and run accidents can happen anywhere; Pittsburgh is no exception.
If you or a loved one was involved in a hit and run accident, you don’t have to navigate the aftermath alone. A hit and run lawyer can help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve to start moving forward.
What is a Hit and Run Accident?
A hit and run accident generally occurs when the at fault driver leaves the scene of an accident. However, in Pennsylvania, the law is broader than that.
Under Pennsylvania law, the “driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident [and] shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of section 3744 (relating to duty to give information and render aid).” The same is true with accidents involving injuries or death.
After stopping, those involved in the car accident must render aid and give information, including identity and insurance company information, to the other parties involved. Those involved in an accident also have a responsibility to provide reasonable aid to any injured parties, including transporting the injured party to receive medical care, if it is requested and apparent that medical care is necessary.
Failure to comply with any of these provisions of Pennsylvania law is a crime. This is what people refer to as a hit and run accident or leaving the scene of an accident.
What are Your Rights After a Hit and Run Accident?
After a hit and run accident, there are two legal pathways open to accident victims. First, as discussed, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and the state of Pennsylvania will prosecute it as such. That said, while filing a police report and informing law enforcement that the at fault party left the scene is an important step, the a criminal prosecution is not meant to address the financial impacts the accident had on the accident victim.
That’s where civil suits come in. A civil law suit is filed by you, as the accident victim, against the at fault driver. A civil suit can proceed simultaneously with a criminal prosecution, you don’t have to pick one or the other.
In fact, they often go hand in hand. For example, law enforcement and an experienced car accident lawyer can work together to identify the driver and bring them to justice.
What Do I Have to Prove in a Civil Lawsuit?
After an accident caused by someone else, you can typically file a negligence lawsuit. This is because drivers owe a duty of care to drive reasonably to avoid causing harm to others on the road, pedestrians, and property. A negligence suit is meant to compensate the injured victims.
Negligence is a legal concept that is simple in theory but incredibly complex in practice. Put simply, to prove negligence you must prove four things: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
- Duty: As a driver, we all owe a duty of care to others around us to drive reasonably.
- Breach: to prove breach, you must show that the at fault driver failed to act reasonably.
- Causation: causation is simple in theory, but often a complex factual and legal issue. In this context, you must prove that the driver’s actions caused the accident and your injuries.
- Damages: you must also prove that the breach of a duty, the drowsiness, caused you financial or emotional damages. This is where we must prove the amount of money involved.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
Hit and run accidents are shocking, and often leave accident victims confused and unsure how to proceed. If you are involved in a Pittsburgh hit and run, here are some baseline rules:
- Make a police report: Contact the police right away and make a report. You will need this for your insurance company and, if it comes to it, your lawsuit. Do not let your driver, another passenger, or a third party convince you not to file a police report. Be sure law enforcement notes other people on the scene.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you do not think you were injured, make sure to seek medical attention. Sometimes, the symptoms from an injury caused by a car accident can creep up days, or even weeks, later, and you want to be prepared. Seeking medical attention will help your case as well, as it will provide a documented source of the damage caused by the rideshare driver’s careless driving.
- Document everything: Take pictures, take down the names of other drivers and witnesses, and document everything. You should also try to reduce any conversation to writing. You should photograph any injuries you suffer. After the accident, try to obtain a copy of the accident report from the police and, if necessary, have your insurance company perform a valuation of the damage.
- Track your expenses: Keep track of all of your out-of-pocket expenses and any work or activities you miss. Maintain a journal or log of all of your doctor’s visits, test results, prescriptions, treatments, or other relevant medical information from the doctor.
- Do not talk to opposing parties or insurance companies without first talking to a lawyer: While it is okay to speak with your own insurance company, you do not want to talk to anyone else’s, or another party directly, without speaking to a lawyer. It is easy to inadvertently waive or limit your rights. If you must discuss the accident before speaking to a lawyer, it’s best to memorialize all live conversations in writing.
Always Think: I May Have To Prove My Injuries As Well As Any Expenses I Suffered Because of the Accident
Why Choose Munley Law for Your Personal Injury Case?
With so many personal injury law firms to choose from, how do you know who you can trust to fight for you and your family? Selecting a Pittsburgh hit and run car accident attorney is an important decision. But Munley Law sets itself apart, and we’re ready to prove it to you. Here are just a few reasons to let us fight for you and your family:
Experience – When it comes to car accident lawsuits, especially one in which the driver fled, experience counts. Each of our partners has decades of experience representing individuals and families who have suffered serious injury or been denied benefits following an injury. Because we are a family firm, we often work closely together on our cases to achieve the best possible results for you.
Industry Leaders – The board-certified Pittsburgh accident lawyers at Munley Law are among the highest-rated and most respected legal advocates in the country. All of our credentials (including Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum) reflect the extremely high standards we’ve set for ourselves, and the recognition of our clients and peers.
Resources – Successfully recovering money after a hit and run crash is Pittsburgh is challenging. At Munley Law, we have access to resources that are typically available only to big law firms. We work closely with our network of engineers, investigators, experts, and in-house medical personnel to build your case. What’s more, unlike at other law firms, you aren’t on the hook for paying these professionals out of pocket.
Our No-Fee Promise – We do not collect a fee unless we win your case. If we do not produce results for you, you owe us nothing. Also, at no point will you ever pay anything out of pocket; even when we win, our fee comes out of the money we recover for you.
You can contact our attorneys by phone or by using the form or chat feature available on our website. Contacting us is free, and doesn’t obligate you to do anything. But the first step to getting you the recovery you deserve is to speak with one of your Pittsburgh hit and run accident lawyers, who are ready to get results for you.
Pittsburgh Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
510 Third Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219