Hit & Run Accident Attorneys
Recovering Compensation After a Hit & Run
A hit and run accident occurs when a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident but, rather than stopping after the crash, they flee the scene before the other motorist has a chance to get their contact information. This leaves the other motorist in a difficult position—how can they recover compensation for their damages if they were not able to get the name, phone number, or insurance information of the driver who caused the accident?
Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime in every state but, unfortunately, this does not always prevent hit and runs from happening. The good news is that if you were hit by a driver who fled the scene of the accident, you could still have several options for recovering compensation after the accident. It’s important that you work with an experienced hit and run accident attorney, as these types of car accident cases are often very complex. An attorney at our firm can help you understand your rights, including your possible to right to compensation through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.
What Is a Hit & Run?
When a motorist hits another vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist, or fixed object or structure, they are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other involved party and/or wait for police to arrive. If the motorist is unable to speak directly with another person for whatever reason, they must take reasonable action to contact the affected party. This could involve leaving a note on a parked car, filing an official police report, or taking some other similar action. When a person fails to stop after an accident, regardless of fault, it is known as a hit and run.
Despite its illegality, there are many reasons people leave the scene of an accident. They may panic or be afraid because they don’t have car insurance. They might be driving while intoxicated, meaning their judgment is impaired or they are afraid of criminal consequences. They may not even realize that they are required to stop even if no one was hurt.
In any cases, these excuses are not an acceptable reason to flee the scene of the accident. However, if you do find yourself the victim of a hit and run, you are likely wondering about your legal options and how you can get justice.
Understanding Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Many states offer what is known as uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. In some states, this coverage is mandatory; in others, it’s elective. Depending on where you live, you could already have this type of coverage on your auto insurance policy.
UM/UIM coverage protects you in the event that you are hit by another motorist who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the cost of your damages. UM/UIM coverage, therefore, can be used as a source of compensation when you are involved in a hit and run. However, you must have this coverage on your policy for it to apply. If you are in a state that doesn’t require UM/UIM coverage and you have not elected to add it to your policy, you are not covered.
It’s important to note that if you do have UM/UIM insurance, you likely aren’t the only one who is covered; depending on your specific policy, your family members and any passengers in your vehicle could also be covered. This means that if you are involved in a hit and run, and both you and your passenger are injured, you could both be covered by your UM/UIM policy.
Steps to Take After a Hit & Run Accident
Being involved in any car accident is a frightening experience. When the other person drives off, you could be left feeling shocked, angry, and unsure of what to do next. In fact, there are several important steps you should take in order to not only protect your safety and well-being but also to protect your future right to file a claim.
After the accident, to the best of your ability, make sure to do the following:
- Seek medical attention if you were injured, regardless of how minor your injuries may seem
- Follow all doctors’ orders regarding your recovery, including attending follow-up appointments
- Write down any information you can remember about the other driver and/or their vehicle
- Call police and have them come out to the scene of the accident to file an official report
- Document your injuries and damage to your vehicle by taking pictures
- Write down everything you can remember about what happened/how the accident occurred
- If possible, obtain copies of your medical reports and the police report
Last, but certainly not least, contact an experienced hit and run accident lawyer. These are complex claims and, even if you have UM/UIM coverage, you could face a number of challenges in recovering compensation for your damages. Our team at Dunk Law Firm is ready to help you navigate these challenges and explore all possible avenues for recovery.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Since 2004, Dunk Law Firm has been devoted to serving as a voice for the injured. Our hit and run accident attorneys provide compassionate, personalized legal services and work tirelessly to secure a positive outcome for each and every client. We understand what you are going through, and we are here to help you fight for justice.
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