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DUI driver hit my car by making a left turn on a green light and tried to run away, but I chased her down. Can I sue her?

Duluth, GA |

I was driving straight down the road at night on a green light. The car on the opposite side was waiting to make a left turn. She ended up crashing into my car by making a left turn too early. I stopped my car, but she drove off. I chased her down and called the police. She was drunk, driving with her young kid. The police told me she did not have her license card. How can I find out if her car is insured or UMV?
I am angry for her attempt to hit and run. Also, when police asked me if I was injured I told him I think I am ok, but I am home now and my back is hurting a lot. Am I considered a victim if she's the one that made the left turn on a green light? If I am I want to know my rights as a victim of DUI/hit and run accident?

I did not receive any citations at the scene. The police said that I was free to go after he was done with the reports. The the back door of the driver's side, car frame, left side of the rear bumper, and left rear tire rim are damaged. Also, I didn't expect any pain to occur after a few hours of the accident, since I didn't feel pain at the scene. Should I call the investigator tomorrow and ask him if she is insured/if it was her fault? I don't know if my insurance has the uninsuranced motor vehicle plan included and am worried that I'll have to end up paying for the damage. I'm a college student and really was not aware of anything going on today at the accident, except to call the cops right away after I chased her down. What should I do? My parents are worried that I'll feel worse.... and ironically the value of my car as well (it's fairly new and were planning on selling it soon).

Attorney Answers 16


  1. You have criminal and civil rights and need to contact a lawyer promptly. You should also get checked out by a doctor. The drunk driver is not only liable for any damages you have, but also possible punitive damages.

    Lawyers, like us, would be happy to walk you through all of this. Much if it is a matter of documentation and advocating for you.

    1-800-656-6952
    jmp@knowthelawyer.com

    Please CLICK the button if I HELPED or was BEST ANSWER. No attorney-client relationship is established and responses here are general first impressions. You should consult with a lawyer about your problems. More about our firm is located at www.knowthelawyer.com.


  2. Get medical treatment if needed, and have a local personal injury lawyer investigate


  3. You have several potential claims here. With regard to the property damage to your car, your first claim is against the insurance on the car that hit you. Yes, you should contact the police to see if they can release that insurance information to you. They should be able to give you info on the insurance company and the policy number. Then contact that insurance company and make a claim for the damage to your car. If the other car was not insured, then your damage will only be covered if you had collision coverage (usually with a deductible) on your car insurance policy. Contact your insurance company and report the accident. They can also help you investigate whether or not the other car was insured.

    With regard to your personal injury claim, if you begin to have any pains you should go to your primary care physician and be checked out. It does not sound like the injuries would be very serious, but this is a medical determination (not a legal one). So only a doctor can tell you. It is not unusual for pains to develop the day after a crash. If the other driver had insurance, this would be a separate claim against that driver and that car's insurance. You can settle your property damage claim and continue with your personal injury claim, but you may need legal guidance to make sure you are not giving up any rights by signing any papers for the PD claim. Talk to an attorney in Duluth. The best and most experienced attorneys are usually members of the statewide organization of trial lawyers, so look for one who is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. The GTLA maintains a database of its members at https://www.gtla.org/index.cfm?pg=findalawyer
    There would likely be no fee for an initial consultation.
    Good luck.

    Legal disclaimer: The comments above by Dale Larrimore, Esq. are provided as general information and not as a legal opinion or legal advice, because all facts are not available. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney in your state who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by Dale Larrimore, Esq., of Larrimore & Farnish, LLP, does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state or under Federal law.


  4. After a motor vehicle accident you should be able to get a basic report with at the very least names of the drivers of all operators involved in the car accident and their insurance companies. You did the right thing in taking reasonable steps to locate the driver who attempted to hit and run, and also in calling police immediately after the accident. At this point continue to do the right thing to pursue your own interests and retain an experienced personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction. Here are 10 reasons: CLICK BLUE LINK BELOW

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.


  5. What a nightmare. I am sorry that this happened to you. Yes, you can most likely sue her. The insurance coverage would need to be sorted out first, which is an easy process. You need an attorney that handles these type of cases, is familiar either professionally and/or personally with back injuries & one that is prepared to try the case, if necessary. I'd recommend trying to find someone who is attentive, empathetic & assertive. Best wishes & I hope you feel better. :-)

    Sincerely,

    Sam Levine, Esq.
    (404) 303-8875


  6. You are very wise to admit that you do not know what to do next and seek help. The next steps are simple. First, immediately seek an evaluation and treatment in the local hospital ER or with your primary care provider. Second, promptly make an appointment to consult with a local experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the entire process, protect your interests and maximize any recovery that you may be entitled to. Personal injury attorneys, usually give free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that they advance the necessary money to pursue your claim and only get paid a fee if and when they obtain a recovery for you.


  7. You do have potential claims against this driver, Did this happen right here in Gwinnett County? There is some basic information the Gwinnett Police and other agencies will give out after reports are prepared. A basic accident report will tell your lawyer what was going on, who was cited, and should have good insurance information.

    Evan A. Watson is a Georgia licensed attorney. All information is based on Georgia law, and no response should be construed as legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is simply a form of legal education and is intended to provide general information for all readers. Please refer with an attorney who practices in your applicable state for non-Georgia legal questions.


  8. From what you described you definitely have claims against this driver. The first thing you need to do is get proper medical care. A lot of times people who have been in an accident say they aren't hurt only to have aches and pains the next day. Thankfully you weren't badly hurt.
    With respect to the other driver, go to the police station and request a copy of the accident report. The officer should have identified the other driver and listed her information, such as address, insurance, etc. and she has probably been charged with hit and run in addition to DUI.
    If you haven't already done so you need to notify your insurance company as soon as possible, and if the other driver either doesn't have insurance or is underinsured, your policy's UM comes into play, provided you elected it.
    I strongly recommend you speak with a local attorney who handles personal injury and car accidents. Good luck with your situation. Just make sure you go to your doctor asap.


  9. Absolutely

    ↓ Mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it. For more information, contact us at www.SteakleyLawFirm.com or (404) 835-7595. The initial consultation is always free for Avvo users.


  10. Several things, and it is so sad that you have had this awful experience:

    1. First of all, you may have a personal injury claim that diminishes in value every day you fail to seek medical treatment, as insurers will argue that the gap in treatment means you were not badly hurt. TODAY, not tommorow or soon, but TODAY, go to the ER, and then also get followup medical care as needed. This matters! (Geitting medical care is also vital to your health).

    2. Do NOT talk to any insurers until you get a lawyer. Anything you say, to either your insurer (or hers if she has one) can be used to minimize your claims. Statistically, people who do not get lawyers get at least 70-80% less for injury claims than people with lawyers.

    3. Next week get a copy of the police report from the police. It will likely be ready in a few business days and the report may have some very useful insurance and other information. Your attorney will follow up using that.

    4. Hopefully you have UM coverage. With so many uninsured (and underinsured) drivers, you can be stuck with medical and repair bills unless you do. In some cases you may be able to collect from BOTH your insurer and hers. Take your declarations page to your lawyer. Her not having a license and fleeing may be a clue as to insurance (or lack of it).

    5. You do have some rights as a criminal victim and should attend any criminal hearings, but you also need to be proactive and retain your lawyer in the next few days. Whether that is me or some other lawyer, do NOT fail to get counsel, and do NOT fail to go to the ER today.

    Glen Ashman - 404-768-3509
    www.glenashman.com

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  11. I am so sorry to hear about your accident. You potentially have claims for both any injuries you suffer, as well as damage to your car.
    Whenever you are in a car accident, the first and most important consideration is getting whatever medical attention you need. If you have a doctor or other health provider that you see regularly, you should definitely make an appointment as soon as possible. If you do not have health insurance or the means to pay for medical care, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you see a local doctor. Personally, I have made arrangements for many of my clients to see a doctor – with no out-of-pocket expense to the client – when necessary.
    The police officer that responded to the accident should have the other driver’s insurance information. If she is uninsured, your uninsured motorist coverage my protect you.
    You should consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience handling car accident cases. An initial consultation is free, and an attorney will be able to tell you what steps to take next, with regard to the police, your insurance company, and the other driver’s insurance company (if any). While it can seem bewildering, an experienced attorney will know exactly what to do so that you can get all the help that you need. Good luck.

    Regards,

    Aaron Marks
    404-939-1485

    --
    Aaron Marks, Esq.
    The Marks Law Group, LLC
    103 W. Dearborn Circle
    Decatur, GA 30030
    www.markslawgroup.com
    aaron@markslawgroup.com
    404-939-1485 (ph)
    404-581-5902 (fx)

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-939-1485 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at avvo@markslawgroup.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice.

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  12. The most important thing is to go see a doctor as soon as possible. You should make sure that you are ok plus this will document the fact that you were injured.

    Next you should consult an attorney to protect your rights. You have a very strong civil case and should be able to recover a substantial amount for your injuries. You should not talk to the other party's insurance company until you consult an attorney. Best of luck to you. My office number is 404 812 4300.


  13. Yes.

    James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.


  14. You need to immediately seek treatment for your injuries and retain an attorney to hold the at-fault driver responsible. An attorney will not only be able to seek damages for your past and future medical bills if your injuries, but can also seek punitive damages because the driver was DUI. Whether the at-fault driver has insurance to cover your claims, and if their policy covers punitive damages, is a question you need answered. Punitive damages are available in cases of willful or wanton conduct (such as driving drunk with a child in the car) and they are designed to punish the defendant to deter future conduct. There is no cap on punitive damages in Georgia in cases involving DUI. So it is very likely you will be able to get a large award if this case went to a jury. The question is whether there is liability insurance or assets to compensate you. Many auto insurance liability policies exclude coverage for punitive damages, however ,others do not. You need an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer to evaluate what is covered, or if assets exist to cover all of your damages including punitives, and pursue your case to its fullest potential to maximize your damages. Our firm handles claims throughout the state of Georgia, and we're open on Labor Day. 912-401-8880.


  15. You sound very similar to a client whose case we just resolved. She was a young lady and she did not have comprehensive or medical insurance when she was struck by a DUI driver who was uninsured. There are steps you have to take to figure out where the insurance money is and how to go after it. Please click the link below to read details of how one can go about investigating car insurance issues, and like others have said - get treatment first and contact an attorney second. Do not try to do this yourself.

    For more information, contact us at Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always free. This post is intended to provide general guidance, and should not be construed as legal advice. While I am an attorney, unless we sign a retainer agreement, I am not your attorney, and any information shared on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it.


  16. The first thing you need to do is seek appropriate medical attention for your back and any other injuries you sustained. Having handled many car wreck cases involving drinking and hit-and-run drivers, I can tell you it appears you have a strong case against the other driver and may be able to recover damages to compensate you for your injuries and punitive damages due to the other driver's drinking and hit-and-run. However, all cases are unique, so without knowing more, neither I nor any attorney can advise you properly. You need to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases to make sure that your rights are protected.
    Burke B. Johnson
    404-909-8407
    johnson@buckleyking.com

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship with you or an offer to represent you. It is intended solely to convey general information and should not be construed as legal advice.

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