What legal action should we take regarding a hit and run incident?

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2012

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What legal action should we take regarding a hit and run incident?

My wife and I were about to cross a pedestrian sidewalk and there was pick-up truck waiting to make a right turn. The driver was just completely looking at his left side so when we were crossing since he was on a full stop, he just suddenly made a fast right turn eventually hitting us on the right side of his truck. My wife fell down and he almost ran over her. She had bruises on her knee. He didn’t even bother to stop or check if everything was OK. There was a lady who saw everything that happened and called the ambulance for us.

Asked on January 9, 2012 under Personal Injury, Nevada


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should contact the police and press criminal charges for hit and run against the truck driver.

If the driver is apprehended and has auto insurance, your wife can file a personal injury claim with the truck driver's auto insurance carrier.  When she completes her medical treatment, she should obtain her medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Her personal injury claim filed with the at-fault driver's auto insurance carrier should include the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your wife's injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If your wife is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver/registered owner of the vehicle.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, your wife will need to file her lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.

If the driver is apprehended and does NOT have insurance, your wife will need to file a lawsuit for negligence against him. 

If it turns out that the driver is not the registered owner of the truck, the registered owner is liable for negligence and would be named as a defendant in the lawsuit in addition to the driver.

If the registered owner has insurance, the insurance claim discussed above would be filed with the registered owner's auto insurance carrier.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Assuming you know who it was (e.g. you have a license plate, so the car and driver can be identified):

1) You can report this to the police--leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a crime.

2) You could sue him if your wife has significant losses (e.g. medical bills; lost wages) or pain and suffering (e.g. disability or long-lasting pain) for which you have not received compensation or reimbursement from your own insurer. Note that bruises and short-term pain or stiffness would not be worth suing for, since you'd spend more on the lawsuit than you'd recover.

3) If you have been entirely or mostly compensated by your own insurer (e.g. your health insurer), you could turn the driver's information over to the insurer so they could sue him to recover their money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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