Legal Question in Personal Injury in Georgia

Hit & Run Rear End Collision

I had my left signal on and was at a complete stop trying to turn into my subdivision entrance. I was rear-ended and the driver took off. Fortunately, he was apprehended in the next subdivision. There were three teens in the car and the one that hit me was 17 and had no DL. When the cops caught one of the other teens had gotten into the driver's seat because he had a DL. The car was registered to one of the teen's parents.

I suffered a lumbar sprain and whip lash.

Court is coming up, do I need an attorney? What are my rights?

Asked on 7/27/03, 2:54 pm

5 Answers from Attorneys

Charles W. Field Charles W. Field, Attorney at Law
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Re: Hit & Run Rear End Collision

If the "court (that) is coming up" is the traffic court case against the teen(s), no, you do not need an attorney. Just go and tell the truth. However, since you may need an attorney anyhow to pursue your injury claims, you should go ahead and consult with one (or more). Then, he or she can coach you as to how to present your case against the driver.

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Answered on 7/27/03, 4:55 pm
W James Moore MOORE & HAWTHORNE, LLC
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Re: Hit & Run Rear End Collision

Whether you need need an attorney really depends on whether you intend to file a bodily injury claim. I am assuming that the court date coming up is for traffic court. In most instances where liability is clear (as it appears in your case) an attorney is not needed for traffic court. Nor does the outcome of traffic court have any real bearing on a personal injury claim.

One issue in your case, however, may be the fact that the driver did not have a driver's license. This leads to question of did he/she have persmission to drive the automobile. If the teenage driver did not have permission to drive, the insurance company is likely to deny coverage, likewise denying any claim on your part. However, you may be able to make a claim for negligent entrustment against the parents of the driver.

I hope this information has been helpful. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please give me a call @ 404-877-9181 or 866-977-9181, if outside Atlanta. You may also email me at wjm@mooreandhawthornelaw.com.

Best regards.

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Answered on 7/27/03, 5:39 pm
Allen Broughton Allen L. Broughton, P.C.
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Re: Hit & Run Rear End Collision

It would be wise to have an attorney present that can cross-examine the person who hit you - this will help your civil case. Your case has significant potential because of the punitive conduct of the defendant. Make sure the attorney you hire has trial experience and verdicts, and is not just a settlement attorney. You can check out my results at www.atlantatriallawyers.com. Good luck.

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Answered on 7/27/03, 6:14 pm
Elyssa Korman Law Office of Elyssa M. Korman
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Re: Hit & Run Rear End Collision

Generally speaking, it is not necessary to have a lawyer with you to appear in traffic court. However, in this case, if you are looking to be compensated for your injuries, you may want to take a lawyer. It sounds like there may be issues as to whether the other party's insurance will deny coverage and the traffic case likely will help the lawyer to determine more information about the insurance coverage. (Insurance policies usually have exclusions where the driver had no license or where the driver had no permission to drive the car.)

Even if you don't take a lawyer, you should go to court or the case against the teenager that hit you will be dismissed.

Feel free to call me if you would like to consult further (free, of course). Office(404)355-5221 or cell (678)613-5732.

Elyssa Korman

Please feel free to contact me if you would like further information.

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Answered on 7/30/03, 7:43 am
Jim Hough Thomas J. Hough, Jr., P.C.
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Re: Hit & Run Rear End Collision

I would use the upcoming court, which I assume to be in the nature of a traffic court proceeding, to "discover" what you can establish on the record at this point about the change of drivers. This further assumes you will be persuing an injury claim. The very first thing, however, is to consult with an attorney skilled in evaluating, investigating and trying these kinds of cases.

I would be pleased to provide a consultation of you case and potential claim on a no-obligation/no expense basis. Good luck.

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Answered on 7/28/03, 6:35 am

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