Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > The Challenges in Identifying a Hit-and-Run Driver

The Challenges in Identifying a Hit-and-Run Driver


Following any motor vehicle accident, the drivers involved are expected–and required by law–to stop and exchange contact and insurance information with one another. Of course, we all know there are hit-and-run accidents where one of the drivers does not stop and instead keeps going. In some cases the hit-and-run driver may be honestly unaware they even hit another car. But it may also be that the driver simply wishes to avoid the legal consequences of being found liable for causing the accident.

Judge Sends Truck Accident Lawsuit to Jury Despite Defendant’s Denials

Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver can get complicated. For one thing, you actually have to try and identify the responsible driver. (Even if you cannot, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can still seek compensation from your own insurance carrier.) And even if you think you have found the culprit, they can still and try to deny it in court.

Consider this ongoing Georgia personal injury lawsuit, Heath v. J.S. Helwig & Son, LLC. This case is currently pending before a federal judge in Athens. The underlying accident occurred in May 2020. The plaintiff was driving her vehicle eastbound on the Oconee connector towards Highway 316. She was struck by an 18-wheeler as it attempted to merge into the plaintiff’s lane of traffic. The truck driver never stopped and kept driving. The plaintiff said she saw the word “HELWIG” printed on both the truck and the connected trailer.

Another truck driver who happened to be on Highway 316 at the same time provided video from their dashboard camera. This video captured the hit-and-run between the plaintiff and the unknown tractor-trailer. The video also confirmed the truck had the word “HELWIG” written on the trailer.

Through their investigation, the plaintiff’s attorneys determined the tractor-trailer in question was owned by J.S. Helwig & Sons, and the driver was a man named Black. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against Helwig and Black seeking compensation from the injuries that she sustained in the hit-and-run accident.

The defendants moved for summary judgment. Essentially, Helwig denied owning the truck, and Black denied he was the driver. The judge overseeing the case denied the motion, explaining the plaintiff produced sufficient evidence from which a jury could infer the defendants owned and drove the truck, respectively. Indeed, a Helwig representative testified that “no one else hauls trailers for Helwig other than Helwig drivers.” And Helwig’s own tracking system showed that Black was driving a truck less than 2 miles from the location of the accident about 2 minutes before impact. So at the very least, there was enough of a case to send to the jury.

Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers Today

It is not always immediately obvious who is legally responsible for a motor vehicle accident. That is just one reason you should work with an experienced Fulton County personal injury lawyer who can fully investigate your car or truck accident. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn