Police have few leads after a driver rammed another vehicle as it pulled out of a private driveway. The negligent driver then fled the scene.
The crash occurred near the intersection of Miller Avenue and MLK. According to police, a passing car smacked into the driver as he pulled pulled into traffic. Two people were injured in the crash. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate one victim from the wreckage before transporting hm to a nearby hospital.
None of the names were released.
Tracking Down the Tortfeasor
Many times, police officers do not investigate hit-and-run claims very aggressively. As far as they are concerned, the incident is a civil matter. So, it is usually up to a Fort Worth personal injury attorney to collect evidence in these situations. Experienced lawyers know how to gather evidence which emergency responders often overlook, such as:
Additional Witness Statements: Typically, first responders only interview witnesses who voluntarily come forward at the scene. Attorneys scour the area to find additional witnesses. Even if they only saw part of the crash, their testimony may be invaluable.
Underground Body Shops: Tortfeasors who damage their cars in hit-and-runs usually do not go to Service King. Instead, they go to under-the-radar body shops where the technicians do not ask questions. Attorneys know how to find these places.
Surveillance/Stakeout: Police departments do not have the resources, or the patience, to stake out an area and hope the tortfeasor (negligent driver) returns. But attorneys make this effort, because they are committed to victims' rights.
The burden of proof comes into play here. To obtain convictions in criminal court, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.
But in civil court, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, identifying the vehicle's owner may be sufficient. It is more likely that not that an owner was operating a vehicle at any particular time.
Many Tarrant County jurors intensely dislike hit-and-run drivers. So, damages in these claims tend to be rather high. They include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Single-Party Insurance Claims
If an attorney cannot track down the tortfeasor, hit-and-run crash victims may be able to file claims with their own insurance companies.
Since the company is anxious to keep its customer happy, these claims often settle quickly and on victim-friendly terms. If a settlement does not happen, these claims usually go to arbitration instead of trial. Pre-hearing procedures are streamlined, but still very thorough.
Hit-and-run crash victims may have several legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Worth, contact Herreth Law. Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.