Hit & Run Accident Victims

Car Crash Attorney Helping Individuals in Knoxville

In Tennessee, drivers are prohibited from leaving the scene of a car crash under section 55-10-102. Failing to stay on the scene is a class C misdemeanor. However, a number of people do leave the scene of an accident. The police should be called in the event of a hit and run. With a description of the car and other details, they may be able to locate the fleeing driver, allowing an accident victim to sue that person. Another option is to file a claim against your own uninsured motorist policy. Experienced car crash lawyer Mark Hartsoe can advise Knoxville residents about their rights and options if they have been struck by a hit and run driver.

Asserting Your Rights against a Negligent Driver after a Hit and Run

If the police are able to locate the hit and run driver who caused your injuries, you may sue the driver directly. In most cases, you would have to prove negligence. Four elements must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. The hit and run driver must have owed you a duty, the hit and run driver must have breached the duty, the breach must have directly caused the accident, and you must have incurred actual damages. All drivers in Tennessee owe a duty of reasonable care to others on the road.

You can potentially recover economic and noneconomic damages from a hit and run driver whose negligence causes an accident. Economic damages are tangible costs such as lost income, medical bills, rehabilitation, property damage, and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic damages tend to be more subjective and can vary dramatically. They usually account for elements like pain and suffering.

In some cases, you may be able to seek punitive damages against a hit and run driver. Punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer and serve as a deterrent. You can usually recover punitive damages only if the hit and run driver caused the accident by acting in an egregious or reckless way or had the intent to cause harm. Some hit and run drivers flee because they are drunk, and if you can establish that the hit and run driver who caused your accident was drunk, you may be able to pursue punitive damages.

In Tennessee, drivers are required to have liability insurance with a minimum of $25,000 in coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. However, a large percentage of drivers are uninsured, and in some cases the minimum coverage will not cover all of a catastrophically injured person's damages. Some hit and run drivers flee because they are not insured.

If the police do not identify a driver who fled the scene right away or if the driver is underinsured, you may want to file a claim with your own insurance company under the uninsured motorist provision. This should cover the costs of your injuries and property damage. In some cases, your attorney may be able to find witnesses who can help identify the driver, or the police may locate the driver later.

Explore Your Options with a Knoxville Lawyer after an Auto Accident

At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Knoxville attorney Mark Hartsoe is skilled in auto accident claims and can assert the rights of injured individuals. Even your own insurer may offer you less than the damages you have suffered. It may be critical to enlist an attorney who can help you explore all your options and take your case to trial as necessary. For a free initial consultation, call 865-804-1011 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
I was on my way to Atlanta and a huge truck rear-ended me and knocked me off the side of the road. I was scared. Didn’t know what to do. I tried working with the insurance company. They are just difficult to work with. I had to call somebody to take care of me. So, My brother told me to call Mark Hartsoe. As soon as I called Mark Hartsoe, he let me know real quick that everything was going to be okay and that he would take care of everything. And, he did. He got me a great settlement. He took the worry off of me. Mickey Anderson
I was hit coming home late at night by a drunk driver who took off. And the next day I was able to track down his vehicle and get the state police involved. At that point, a family friend recommended that I talk to Mark Hartsoe. Pretty much at that point, Mark handled the police, the insurance company and the guy who hit me. Settled with the actual person that hit me. Outside of that, everything came out great. Did not have to go to court. Got a great settlement. Got my car replaced. Got a check. Mark Hartsoe is my lawyer. Nate Holder
I was involved in a motorcycle accident. It was a head-on collision. I broke my arm, injured by knee. I was out of work for a long time and had medical bills, other expenses. A personal friend handed me a card for Mark Hartsoe. I called Mark Hartsoe from the side of the road and he took care of everything. My case was settled out of court. I received a great settlement. Bike was totaled, motorcycle was replaced. It was easy, painless. About as painless as something like this can be. This is why my lawyer is Mark Hartsoe. John Lusinger
I wanted to thank you for the excellent representation and your ability to handle the situation so well with such compassion and strength. We appreciate all of your help, concern and for answering my many questions. It has been a difficult road to travel but when we come across people like you, it really helps to lighten the load. We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you’ve done and your ability to handle the situation so well. S. Carter
Thank you so much for all the work you did on our case. We received more than we expected. You were great through the whole time from the first meeting until the last. Thank you so very much. Sam & Judy Kachar