Cinco Ranch Hit & Run Attorney
In many jurisdictions, law enforcement officers only solve about a tenth of hit-and-run personal injury car wrecks. This low proportion has much to do with the burden of proof in criminal court, which is discussed below. Because the evidentiary bar is so high, many investigators simply give up.
Even if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) does not remain at the scene, the thorough Cinco Ranch hit & run attorneys at the West Law Office know how to collect evidence in these cases. Perhaps more importantly, they know how to effectively present this evidence in court. As a result, survivors are usually able to obtain fair compensation for their serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Since many jurors hate hit-and-run drivers, additional punitive damages could be available as well.
Tracking Down the Tortefasor
Because public safety is at stake, emergency responders do their best to hunt down hit-and-run motorists. But they are usually limited to the meager physical evidence which is available at the scene. Additionally, many peace officers view these wrecks as civil disputes. They don’t want to get involved and want to spend the department’s precious resources elsewhere.
However, a Cinco Ranch hit-and-run attorney is committed to fair compensation for victims. So, your legal team locates and uses additional evidence, such as:
- Nearby Surveillance Video Footage: A red-light, security, or other camera a few blocks away from the accident site, or even a few miles away, might capture the tortfeasor’s license plate number. That information is usually enough to locate the vehicle’s owner.
- Local Body Shops: Hit-and-run tortfeasors usually don’t take their damaged vehicles to Service King. Instead, they take them to grey market body shops whose owners are uncooperative with investigators. But these individuals often will speak with a personal injury attorney.
- Additional Witness Statements: On a related note, many people do not loiter near accident scenes so they can give statements to law enforcement officers. But these people will give statements to a personal injury attorney. Even if the witness only saw part of the wreck, the testimony could be very important.
The West Law Office has the resources necessary to carry out such investigations. When needed, we partner with private investigators and other professionals.
Partial license plate numbers and other such information is practically useless in criminal court. The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. Essentially, the only way to convict a hit-and-run tortfeasor is to find a credible witness who places the defendant behind the wheel at or near the scene. Alternatively, if the defendant voluntarily confesses, that might hold up in court.
But in civil court, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). This lower burden of proof is a game-changer.
Assume an attorney uses the aforementioned evidence, like surveillance video and witness statements, to identify the vehicle and locate its owner. It is more likely than not that the owner was driving a car at a particular time. Therefore, that evidence alone might be enough to establish liability.
Even the most diligent attorney cannot track down all hit-and-run tortfeasors. These victims still have legal options. For example, UIM (uninsured motorist) coverage is usually available.
Connect with a Dedicated Fort Bend County Lawyer
Personal injury victims deserve fair compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Cinco Ranch personal injury attorney, contact The West Law Office. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.