According to the Insurance Information Institute, 11% of all car accidents in the United States are “hit-and-runs.” A hit-and-run accident occurs whenever a driver collides with a motorist, pedestrian, cyclist, or parked vehicle (hits) and leaves the scene of the accident (runs) without leaving any contact information or waiting to see what has happened. Adding insult to injury, it can be difficult to pay for accident-related and injury-related expenses resulting from hit-and-run accidents as there is often no way to determine the insurance information of the person responsible for the accident.
In order to pay for damage and injury caused by the accident, a hit-and-run-accident victim often can collect only from his or own insurance company, if he or she has uninsured motorist coverage, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, or medical insurance coverage (“Medpay”). Traditional auto insurance liability coverage does not pay for property damage or costs associated with physical injury caused by a hit-and-run driver.
Amid the stress and confusion of being hit and then left, it’s important to document what just happened because you may not remember those details later. If possible, note the license plate number, color, make, and model of the vehicle which struck you. Jot down the time and location of the crash, and take photos and videos of the scene and the driver’s license plate and car if possible. Taking immediate photographs can be crucial if the offending auto’s paint is visible on your vehicle. Get contact information from witnesses too.
It’s also important to take care of yourself after a hit-and-run accident. Even a minor collision can cause considerable injury. Seek medical attention promptly to avoid unnecessary pain and a prolonged recovery.
Be sure to fill out a police report. Even if the other driver has fled the scene, law enforcement officers can still collect evidence. Insurance companies may reject your claim if there is no police report documenting the actions and events that caused your personal injury.
Contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible. Otherwise, your claim may be denied outright. In addition, it’s important to get an understanding at the outset of what your insurance covers.
Hit-and-run liability can be difficult to effectively secure when accident victims don’t have the proper type of insurance. Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage or underinsurance, it may not be enough to pay your medical expenses if your injuries are extensive. Insurance does not pay for day-to-day living costs. If you’re unable to work due to your injuries, bills can pile up. If you have filed a hit-and-run lawsuit, your case may take months or years to make its way through the courts or to a resolution out of court.
If you’re awaiting the outcome of a hit-and-run lawsuit, pre-settlement financing can help you stay financially afloat while you wait for your case to be resolved. Contact us to learn how we can help.