What To Do After A Hit-And-Run In Nashville

March 08 2024 | Nashville Car Accident Lawyer Blog
  • What to do after a hit and run in Nashville and how a Nashville Hit and Run Lawyer can help.

    Being involved in a car accident of any kind can be devastating, but the shock that comes with a hit and run accident can add even more stress to an already difficult situation. Frustration, along with the uncertainty of being able to hold the at fault driver accountable, and being left to deal with the aftermath alone can be extremely challenging.

    If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident, life can become difficult, and a victim of a hit and run accident will typically be facing a lot of questions and unknowns. In this guide, we’ll discuss what to do after a hit and run accident in Nashville to prioritize your safety and your financial health, and how a Nashville car accident lawyer can help you through this difficult time.

    Tennessee hit and run accident laws

    Whether the accident happened on a Tennessee highway, on a Nashville city street, rural road, or even in a parking lot, the same hit and run laws in Tennessee apply.

    According to TN Code § 55-10-102 (2021), any driver involved in a collision with another vehicle is required to immediately stop at the scene of the accident. Drivers are then required under Tennessee law to provide their name, address, and the registration number of their vehicle.

    If the accident involved an injury, the person responsible is required to provide reasonable assistance to any injured parties until first responders arrive. This includes calling 911 if necessary.

    What is a hit and run accident in Tennessee?

    In Tennessee, a hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without exchanging information with the other involved parties or reporting the accident to the authorities, as required by law.

    Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

    • Not staying at the scene: This applies to any situation where a driver is involved in an accident, regardless of the severity of the damage or injuries.
    • Not exchanging information: Drivers involved in an accident are legally obligated to exchange information such as names, addresses, insurance details, and vehicle descriptions.
    • Not reporting the accident: Depending on the severity of the accident, drivers might be required to report the accident to the Tennessee Department of Safety within a specific timeframe.

    What to do after a hit and run in Nashville

    If you were injured in a hit and run accident in Nashville there are some important steps that you should take to ensure your safety and to protect your legal rights. Hit and runs are particularly complicated because the other driver left the scene.


    In this video, Founding Partner and personal injury lawyer Lee Coleman discusses the most important aspects of Nashville hit and run accidents and how a hit and run lawyer can help injured victims.

    Prioritize your safety

    • Check for injuries: Be sure to assess yourself and also check on any passengers, especially if there’s a passenger injured in the crash. If injuries are present, call 911 immediately.
    • Move to a safe location: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic.
    • Do not chase the fleeing vehicle: It’s dangerous and could put yourself and others at further risk.

    Report the accident

    • Call the police: Even if there are no injuries, it’s important to report the hit-and-run to the police as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details you remember about the incident, including the time, location, and description of the fleeing vehicle and driver (if possible).
    • File a police report: Once the police arrive, they will conduct an investigation and file an official police report. This report will be needed for insurance purposes and any personal injury claims you may have. If the police do not come to the scene, you can file a Nashville Metro Police report online. Personal injury lawyers in Nashville will need this report to understand your situation.

    Gather evidence

    • Document the scene: While waiting for the police, document the accident scene by taking pictures or videos of the damage to your vehicle, the surrounding area, and any debris from the accident.
    • Look for witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and a brief description of what they saw.
    • Note down details: Even if you’re unable to take pictures or find witnesses, write down everything you recall about the accident, including the vehicle’s description, driver’s appearance (if visible), the license plate number of the other vehicle, and any other relevant details. If there are nearby businesses or traffic cameras, note them. Depending on how long traffic camera footage is stored, an experienced hit and run accident lawyer may be able to recover the footage on your behalf to identify the other driver.

    Contact your insurance company

    • Report the claim: Inform your insurance company about the hit-and-run accident as soon as possible. They will guide you through the claims process and help you understand your coverage options.
    • Provide details: Provide your insurance company with a copy of the police report and any other evidence you’ve gathered. Let them know how the accident occurred, but stick to the facts. Being rear-ended in Nashville, and being sideswiped in Nashville are both common hit and run car accident scenarios that you should make your insurance company aware of. Accidents such as T-bone wrecks are not as common in hit and runs due to the extensive damages to both vehicles, however they can still happen.
    • Do not admit fault: When speaking with the insurance company, it’s important to not admit fault in the crash. Hit and run accidents and personal injury claims resulting from the crash may still be impacted by Tennessee comparative negligence laws, which assign a percentage of fault to each driver, potentially reducing the amount of compensation you are entitled to. An experienced personal injury lawyer can work to reduce or eliminate your percentage of fault through investigations.
    • Understand your coverage: In Tennessee, all car insurance policies must have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage unless the insured explicitly opts out of coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM), which includes uninsured motorist bodily injury, and underinsured collision coverage (UIM), can both help cover medical bills and property damage related to the hit and run.

    Your insurance agent will be able to discuss what coverage is available to you under any applicable insurance policy you may have.

    Consult with an experienced Nashville hit and run lawyer

    A hit-and-run accident can be a complex and stressful situation, especially with the added challenges of the driver being unidentified or if a serious injury is involved. An experienced Nashville hit-and-run lawyer can offer you valuable guidance and support throughout the entire process:

    Understanding your legal rights and options: They can explain the legal landscape surrounding hit-and-run accidents in Tennessee, including your rights to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

    Navigating the claims process: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, and a lawyer can help you understand your coverage, negotiate a fair settlement, and fight for the full compensation you deserve.

    Gathering evidence: In hit-and-run cases, evidence is often scarce. Your lawyer will be well-versed in investigative techniques and can assist you in gathering evidence from the scene, potential witnesses, and other sources to strengthen your case.

    Representing you in court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, your lawyer can represent you in court and aggressively advocate for your rights.

    Providing emotional support: The aftermath of a hit-and-run accident can be emotionally draining. Your lawyer can provide a sense of security and support throughout the legal process, allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.

    Finding the right lawyer: When considering how to choose the best car accident lawyer in Nashville for you, consider their experience handling hit-and-run cases specifically in Nashville. Look for someone with a proven track record of success and who is familiar with local laws and court procedures.

    Consulting with an experienced hit-and-run lawyer at the outset can significantly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation and ensuring your rights are protected throughout this challenging experience.

    Is a hit and run a felony in Tennessee?

    The severity of the charges and penalties for a hit-and-run accident in Tennessee varies depending on the circumstances, particularly whether there were injuries or just property damage involved. In Tennessee, a hit and run can be either a felony or a misdemeanor.

    Property damage

    If an accident results in damage of $1,500 or less, a driver who departs from the scene may face Class B misdemeanor charges. These charges could lead to consequences such as up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $500, and potentially required driver’s education classes.

    If the damage exceeds $1,500, leaving the scene is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which carries more severe penalties. These can include up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and potential suspension or revocation of the driver’s license due to the higher value of property damage.

    Accidents involving personal injury or death

    In cases where an accident leads to injury or death, leaving the scene without providing necessary information is deemed a Class A misdemeanor. This offense can carry penalties of up to eleven months and 29 days in jail, along with a fine of up to $2,500 and potential suspension of the driver’s license.

    In more severe instances where the accident’s gravity suggests the driver should have foreseen it could cause death, felony charges may apply. These felonies carry sentences ranging from one to six years in prison.

    If you’ve been injured in a hit and run in Nashville, a hit and run lawyer can help

    A hit and run can be very difficult to handle on your own, especially if you’ve been injured. If you were injured by a hit and run driver, contact us today for a free consultation. Our team is available 24/7 to talk with you about what options you may have and can help you recover every dollar you deserve from the insurance company.

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