In this video, Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewer question from Sarah in Wilmington, Delaware. Sarah was injured in a car accident where the truck rear-ended her and fled. The driver was never caught. Sarah asks, did she ruin her case by failing to get the tag number from the at-fault vehicle? The attorney indicates that there is most likely a case, but now it is a case where Sarah seeks Uninsured Motorist or UM benefits from her own insurance policy.
Hi Folks, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to have a question from Sarah in Wilmington, Delaware. Sarah wrote to me and said, I was stopped at a red light on my home from work when a big truck ran into the back of me. The truck’s driver backed up and sped off. I didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. I didn’t get his tag number. The police have been unable to locate the vehicle or the driver.
Meanwhile, I’m in physical therapy but my neck and shoulder are not getting better, and my doctor is talking about surgery. Did I ruin any chance of having a case? The answer is, that this happens much more frequently than you would ever imagine. I see cases in my office like this where people get injured in automobile accidents and the at-fault driver flees the scene. Sometimes I see cases where the at-fault driver is apprehended and oftentimes I see where the at-fault driver gets away scot-free.
It is unfortunately all too common, there are reasons why people do this. I can’t explain to you every reason but oftentimes we find out that they didn’t have insurance and they got scared and so they took off because they didn’t want to get in trouble for not having insurance. We also find out that in cases where they are apprehended, we find out that they had warrants out for their arrest, and they didn’t want to risk going to jail and so they fled the scene. And sometimes I suspect without knowing that they may have drugs in the car, and they need to flee the scene in order to not get arrested for having drugs in their possession. There are a bunch of reasons why people would take off and it’s unfortunate.
To answer your question directly Sarah, you probably did not ruin your case by failing to get that information. The reason I say that is because in a situation like this where the at-fault driver took off and has not never been apprehended or identified, if you had uninsured motorist insurance on your auto policy, or if you qualify to make a claim and receive benefits for uninsured motorist insurance under another person’s auto policy then instead of pursuing a case against the at-fault driver for your personal injury claim you can pursue a case against the uninsured motorist insurance company and receive from the insurance company whatever you would have gotten from the at-fault driver or his insurance company had he been apprehended and identified.
So, you probably didn’t wreck the case by failing to get that information. What you need to do is, you need to get in contact with an attorney and let the attorney investigate. Part of what we do as personal injury lawyers is to investigate these types of situations. We try and find UM coverage that will pay you a money settlement for your personal injury claim. Even though you have never been able to identify the at-fault driver.
Folks that is an excellent question. It’s the topic that’s right up my alley as a Delaware Personal Injury Lawyer, if you have questions about personal injury claims or auto accident cases or what have you, feel free to send me an email. Thanks for watching!