Mankato Hit and Run Lawyer
Car accidents are stressful enough on their own, but dealing with subsequent injuries, property damage, and insurance companies can be overwhelming. Managing the fallout of a car accident is even more stressful when the other driver takes off and leaves. Hit and runs complicate car accidents significantly. In a regular car accident, you would be able to exchange information with the other driver, contact each other’s insurance companies, and potentially file a civil suit against the driver responsible.
In a hit and run, the other driver is gone, so their information is likely inaccessible to you. You may be able to use the car’s make, model, and license plate number to track them down and file a police report, but that adds the process and makes things more difficult. They might have been afraid, in an emergency, or driving while distracted, but regardless of the reason, they have fled the scene and put you in a difficult situation. Fortunately, the residents of Mankato can reach out to an experienced hit and run lawyer to guide them through the process. If the hit and run driver cannot be found, you may have a claim under your own auto insurance policy under the ”Uninsured Motorist” coverage, which is required under all Minnesota auto policies.
Common Injuries Sustained in Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and runs accidents often result in injuries. Because of how our bodies are thrown about in a collision, our heads and necks are particularly prone to injury. Many people must drastically alter their lives due to injuries they sustained during a hit and run.
Injuries that often result from a car accident include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Head wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries, concussions and loss of memory
- Chest injuries
Injuries sustained in a hit and run can result in medical bills and other expenses that can quickly add up. Personal injury and wrongful death claims can become overwhelming to deal with on your own, especially when the absence of the liable party further complicates your case. Working with a personal injury attorney is the best way to navigate a hit and run case and ensure you get the settlement you deserve.
Are Drivers Required to Stay at the Scene of a Collision?
When a driver hits another car and decides to leave the scene of the accident, it is considered a crime. In Minnesota, hit and run accidents are designated either misdemeanors or felonies based on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the injuries sustained.
A driver involved in a collision is required under Minnesota Statute Sec. 169.09 to stop the vehicle at the site of the collision without blocking traffic or as close to the scene as possible and investigate what they hit. If the driver knows or has reason to believe that the collision resulted in someone’s injury or death, they must remain at the crash site until they have given their information to the other driver and an officer at the scene.
The driver must give the following information:
- Their name
- Their date of birth
- Their mailing address or e-mail address
- The vehicle’s registration plate number
- Their driver’s license or permit
If the driver did not give this information at the scene of the collision, they have 72 hours to provide anyone involved in the collision or a peace officer investigating the collision:
- Their vehicle liability insurance provider’s name and address
- The name and address of their local insurance agent
If you hit an unattended vehicle, you must either:
- Locate the unattended vehicle’s driver or owner and give them your name and address or that of the registered owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle
- Report this information to a peace officer
- Leave a note with this information in a conspicuous place in or secured to the struck vehicle
Penalties of a Hit and Run in Minnesota
Should a driver flee the scene of a collision, they’ll be subject to several penalties. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, a hit and run driver in Minnesota could face a misdemeanor or felony penalty. Minnesota statute Sec. 169.09 Subdivision 14 outlines the potential penalties.
Misdemeanor Charges for a Hit and Run
A driver can be charged with a misdemeanor hit and run if they leave the site of an accident with no injuries without leaving contact information. A misdemeanor hit and run is punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, up to 90 days in prison, and driver’s license suspension. If the accident resulted in a personal injury, the driver might face a fine of up to $3,000 and one year in jail.
Felony Charges for a Hit and Run
A person can be charged with a felony hit and run if their collision caused great bodily harm to the victim. Great bodily harm is defined as a bodily injury with a high risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or the loss of an organ. Felony hit and run charges are punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to two years in jail. Penalties increase to a $5,000 fine and up to three years in prison for cases where someone is killed.
Get Legal Advice from a Mankato Hit and Run Lawyer
The best way to maximize your chances of having a successful outcome when dealing with a hit and run is to look to the guidance of an experienced hit and run lawyer. By relying on good legal advice from a reputable firm, you can more easily navigate the legal process and the complications that come with handling a hit and run.
At Knutson + Casey, our legal team has successfully handled a variety of car accident and personal injury cases for numerous clients. We house a team of highly skilled legal professionals who can secure the best possible outcome for your case. To learn more about your legal options, fill out our contact form or call us at (507) 344-8888.