Most hit and run collision criminal investigations do not end well for their victims. In many jurisdictions, law enforcement apprehends fewer than 10 percent of hit and run motorists. As outlined below, resource scarcity and the high burden of proof in criminal court are the two biggest reasons why.
But for victims, the law enforcement investigation is only Round One. The fight for fair compensation continues. Since a Rock Hill car wreck lawyer does not have the aforementioned resource and legal restraints, a lawyer can usually obtain money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well.
Obtaining Evidence in Hit and Run Claims
Many hit and run drivers leave the area without a trace. Usually, there are few witnesses, or even none at all. Physical evidence is usually scant as well. So, unless police officers catch an early break or the driver voluntarily comes forward, most of these investigations quickly grind to a halt.
Police officers’ workloads usually contribute to this situation. Most investigators would rather use their scant resources elsewhere. Furthermore, as far as many officers are concerned, a hit and run wreck is a civil matter anyway.
Attorneys, often in partnership with a private investigator, pick up where law enforcement left off. For example, attorneys reach out to witnesses police officers might have overlooked. Even if they only saw part of the wreck, their testimony could be invaluable.
Presenting Evidence in Court
In criminal court, prosecutors must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So, unless the state conclusively places the defendant behind the wheel at or near the accident scene, the evidence probably won’t hold up in court.
But in civil court, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. That’s a much lower standard.
Hit and run victims often find justice in civil court instead of criminal court. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rock Hill, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.
Why don’t drivers remain at the scene?
South Carolina has one of the largest numbers of uninsured or underinsured drivers in the country.
If the driver isn’t located, can I still obtain compensation?
Yes. Most drivers in these situations can file claims with their own insurance companies.
Can authorities only charge the at-fault driver with hit and run?
No. Any driver who leaves the scene of an accident could face hit and run charges.