WTVM Legal Break – Hit & Run Victims
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
Gary Bruce discusses what to do if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian, and what to do if the vehicle leaves the scene. Hit and run incidents involving bicycles and pedestrians can lead to a recovery of medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Georgia and Alabama allow an injured person to sue “John Doe” under Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage to collect even when the perpetrator disappears or cannot be identified. Gary emphasizes how important it is to have UM coverage in situations like these.
Maureen: Hello there and welcome to Legal Break. I’m Maureen Akers and with me today, Gary Bruce. Thank you for joining us Gary, as always
Gary: Good to be here thank you.
Maureen: Today we’re talking about something that’s a pretty hot topic and that is hit-and-run accidents, and those specifically involving either bikes or pedestrians. Tell me about this, they are pretty catastrophic, aren’t they?
Gary: Well they really are, in the news recently we’ve seen this video on the Natchez Trace near Nashville. Where this man was, I mean just deliberately, struck and right hit and fortunately did okay with it but that’s what we all fear if you ride a bicycle. I ride a bicycle, do you ride?
Maureen: I run so I’m out there on the road, but my husband rides and stopped riding on public roads because of some things happening.
Gary: Fortunately we have some really good trails, you know, so that’s nice and I try and take advantage of that. This is everybody’s fear – You’re by yourself, you’re hit, and nobody stops.
Maureen: So what do you do if there’s a hit-and-run?
Gary: Well you hope you get through it, you know. So what’s available? Is there a claim? And that’s what I do. So we’ll talk about in that term, I can’t fix you medically, but is there a claim? Potentially there is even if you don’t know who the person was. I like the fact this guy had a GoPro body camera on, but who does that, you know, that’s the rare exception. So, maybe you ride with somebody and gather whatever evidence you can. But if you have a situation in any hit-and-run where you don’t know who the person was, Georgia and Alabama law both provide that if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can sue John Doe or Jane Doe and recover just as if John Doe or Jane Doe was there as the defendant. So, in essence if you’re a juror and you go to a trial and they’re suing John Doe,
It’s the insurance company sitting over there just defending their money as if they were the bad guy who caused all that.
Maureen: Gotcha, okay a lot of folks may not know that as well.
Gary: And just take a second to make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage, it’s so important these days. We see so many people who don’t have coverage, and usually the worst drivers are the ones who don’t have it. So protect your family by having uninsured motorist coverage. I can’t stress that enough!
Maureen: Very good, that is good advice. So an attorney can help, just as you mentioned, right? t
Gary: So anyway, without shillin’ for work, that’s what we do. We also, hopefully coordinate that and make those claims on behalf of insurance, in a hit-and-run situation or, where you just don’t know who the person was. So it happens, it happens more than you’d think.
Maureen: But there’s a possibility that there is help and some restitution?
Gary: Absolutely, if you protect yourself through the right coverages yes.
Maureen: Very good! Thank you so much for joining us again today Gary and we look forward to seeing you on the very next Legal Break.
Read our most frequently asked questions to understand what uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is, and why it is important to have.