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Hit and Run Accidents in Alabama

Involved in a Hit and Run Accident? Know Your Rights & Get the Legal Help You Deserve.

common car accident injuries in huntsville, AL

Have you been a victim of a hit-and-run accident in Alabama? Finding the at-fault driver and recovering compensation can feel impossible.  But there’s a solution. And help is available. 

In a hit-and-run, a driver crashes into something or someone, like another car, a person walking, or even a fence or mailbox, with their vehicle. Then, they drive away without stopping. They don’t help anyone who might be hurt or share their contact information with the people involved or the police.

Key Points: 

  • Hit-and-run incidents occur when a driver leaves the scene after hitting another vehicle or pedestrian without providing necessary information or aid.
  • Drivers may run away due to various factors such as being under the influence, lacking a license, driving a stolen vehicle, or having outstanding warrants.
  • Hit-and-run accidents are serious crimes in Alabama, punishable by jail time, license suspension, and hefty fines.
  • After a hit-and-run accident, it’s crucial to call 911, cooperate with the police, collect witness information, and seek medical care for any injuries.
  • Victims may struggle to obtain compensation, but options like uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide relief. 
  • Hit-and-run accidents can result in severe criminal and civil penalties, including fines, license suspension, imprisonment, and financial responsibility for damages.
  • Alabama law mandates drivers to stop at the scene of an accident, render aid, and provide necessary information. Violating this law can lead to criminal charges and civil liabilities.
  • Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer involves gathering evidence, notifying insurance companies, providing documentation, cooperating with investigations, and potentially seeking legal assistance.

The aftermath of a hit-and-run accident in Alabama can be overwhelming. With the driver gone, you might be unsure where to turn for help.


What are Hit-and-Run Accidents?

A hit-and-run car accident occurs when a driver hits another car or pedestrian and leaves the scene without providing the other party’s insurance information or rendering aid to the victim. In Alabama, hit-and-run accidents are serious crimes that can lead to jail time, a license suspension, and enormous fines.

Why Do Drivers Run Away After an Accident?

Drivers may run away from the scene of an accident for various reasons. Some common reasons include:

  • Being Under the Influence: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a big deal. If a driver is drunk or high and causes a crash, they might bolt to avoid getting caught and in trouble for driving while intoxicated.
  • Driving Without a License: Driving without a proper license can mean big penalties. If someone doesn’t have a license and they cause a crash, they might run away to dodge getting caught without one.
  • Stolen Vehicle: If the car they’re driving was stolen and they caused a crash, they’ll probably take off to not get caught with the stolen wheels.
  • Outstanding Warrants: Drivers with warrants for other crimes might bolt from a crash scene to escape getting arrested for those warrants.
  • Uninsured Drivers: If a driver knows they don’t have insurance for their car, they might split to dodge having to pay for the mess they made.
  • Panic and Fear:  Sometimes, right after a crash, even someone who didn’t do anything wrong might freak out and run away, especially if they’re hurt or shaken up.
  • Lack of Responsibility: Some drivers might not feel responsible for what happened or the results of the crash. This might make them run away to avoid getting in trouble.
  • Ignorance: Sometimes, the driver might not realize how serious the crash is or that they have to stay and help or give information.
  • Attempt to Avoid Liability: If they think they caused the crash, they might leave to avoid getting blamed for any damage or injuries.

Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime itself, and the penalties can be severe. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should always contact the police immediately and report the incident.

Can My Lawyer Hunt Down a Hit-and-Run Driver?

Absolutely! Your lawyer can assist you in finding the hit-and-run driver. They can team up with the police and use legal methods to gather evidence. They can talk to witnesses and check surveillance footage to figure out who caused the accident. Once they know who the driver is, your lawyer can take legal steps. They can file claims with their insurance company to get compensation for the damages they have suffered because of the hit-and-run.

What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Hit and Run?

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a frightening and confusing experience.  Understanding the crucial steps to take immediately after the incident can significantly impact the outcome. These are the essential actions you should follow if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a hit-and-run collision.

  • Call 911 and Cooperate with Police Investigation – Never leave the scene of an accident. Always call 911, cooperate with police, and seek medical care. If hit by a fleeing driver, call 911 immediately.
  • Obtain Contact Details of Witnesses – Get contact details from potential witnesses. Gather as much info as possible about the hit-and-run driver, including license plate, car details, and distinguishing features.
  • Keep a Record of Events – Record details of the car accident: time, place, road/weather conditions, and other relevant info.
  • Get Medical Care for Your Injuries – Seek medical care for all injuries, no matter how minor they seem. After a crash, adrenaline is high; what seems minor could be serious.
  • Seek Legal Assistance – Obtain legal counsel from an Alabama hit-and-run accident attorney as soon as possible. Hit-and-run accidents are sensitive, complicated situations that require the knowledge of a skilled auto accident lawyer.


Will My Insurance Company Cover a Hit & Run?

Alabama has a fault-based auto insurance system. That means that accident victims typically file a claim with a negligent driver’s insurance company rather than their own. But what happens when you don’t know the identity of the at-fault driver? The answer may vary, depending on your personal insurance policies.

Unfortunately, if you only have minimum coverage in Alabama, you may discover that you cannot get the compensation you deserve. That’s why it’s encouraged to get as much auto insurance coverage as you can reasonably afford. Optional policies, like uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) and med pay coverage, can go a long way towards alleviating your financial distress. 

UM/UIM policies step in when the other driver does not have enough coverage or you cannot identify the driver. Med pay will pay your medical bills regardless of who caused the crash.

What are the Penalties for Hit-and-Run Accidents?

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should know the potential penalties you might face. In Alabama, if a hit-and-run collision causes a grave injury or wrongful death, it is classified as a felony. A hit-and-run is typically regarded as a misdemeanor if all that is damaged is property. But even a minor hit-and-run charge carries a potential jail sentence.

Criminal penalties may include fines, license suspension or revocation, and even imprisonment. The severity of the penalties typically increases with the level of harm caused.

Civil penalties may involve the hit-and-run driver being held financially responsible for the damages they caused. Penalties may include property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of the victims.

Additionally, a hit-and-run conviction can have long-term consequences, such as a permanent criminal record, increased insurance rates, and difficulties obtaining employment or housing in the future.

What is Alabama’s Hit and Run Law?

When you get a driver’s license, you are agreeing to follow Alabama’s road rules. One of these essential rules is contained in Alabama Code §32-10-2, which requires every driver to:

  • Stop at the scene of an accident if there is any property damage, bodily harm, or a fatality
  • Call 911 and request medical assistance for injured crash victims
  • Provide the authorities with the correct name, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license

When someone violates this rule, we call it a hit-and-run. If convicted, you may face jail time, fines, penalties, and loss of your driver’s license. If you are a victim, you are eligible for compensation for your injuries and property damage.

A Prosecutor is Pursuing a Criminal Case Against the Hit and Run Driver. Am I All Set?

No. Criminal charges and a personal injury claim are very different legal processes. The government prosecutor will only handle the criminal case and will not fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

However, you shouldn’t postpone your injury case while the prosecutor works on their case. In Alabama, you only have two years to file a personal injury claim against a hit-and-run driver—and it may take longer than that to fully investigate and try the criminal case. 

How Can I File a Claim with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurer?

Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company involves several steps:

  1. Gather Information: Collect all relevant information about the accident. This may include other driver’s insurance details, contact information, and any evidence such as photos or witness statements.
  2. Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident, even if you plan to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. Your insurance company can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
  3. Contact the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company: Reach out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company to initiate the claims process. Provide them with the necessary information about the accident and your damages.
  4. Provide Documentation: The insurer may require documentation to support your claim, such as a copy of the police report, medical bills, repair estimates, and any other relevant records. Make sure to submit these documents promptly.
  5. Cooperate with the Investigation: The insurance company may investigate the accident. Cooperate fully with their inquiries and provide any additional information they request.
  6. Negotiate Settlement: Once the insurance company has reviewed your claim, they may offer a settlement amount. Review the offer carefully and negotiate if you believe you are entitled to more compensation.
  7. Consider Legal Assistance: If you encounter difficulties with the claims process or believe you are not being treated fairly, you may want to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.

By following these steps and staying organized throughout the process, you can effectively file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in Alabama.

Call our Birmingham & Huntsville Hit and Run Accident Attorney Now!

If you have questions about a hit-and-run injury claim and Alabama hit-and-run law, contact Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys today. Our Alabama hit-and-run attorney will help you build a plan that protects your legal rights and financial interests.

At Petro Accident and Injury Attorney Law Firm, we understand the laws surrounding hit-and-run accidents. And will help you navigate the legal process so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We have a proven track record of success in vehicular accidents, workers’ compensation, defective products, and more. And we are ready to put our experience to work for you. Call us now for a consultation!


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