One of the most common questions that we receive is about hit and run accidents. According to the Department of Transportation, 265,076 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2016. Unfortunately, some of these statistics include hit and run accidents. There are various reasons that drivers flee the scene, the most common is that they are intoxicated, under the influence of drugs or do not have insurance. Approximately 1 in 7 drivers in the United States are uninsured.
In cases where a driver flees the scene, the license plate number can be utilized to track down the other driver. However, in instances where no identifying information was obtained for the other driver, you may still be entitled to compensation under your own insurance policy.
This is known as “uninsured” motorist coverage. It is a special type of protection that costs extra but protects drivers when hit by a driver with no insurance to cover the person’s damages. This process involves filing a claim under your own insurance company’s uninsured or underinsured coverage.
There is also coverage known as “underinsured” motorist coverage which can cover you when your damages exceed the liability policy of the other driver. The majority of drivers on the road have the least amount of liability insurance required by law which is $30,000.00. In cases where your damages exceed the amount of coverage in the other driver’s policy, you may be able to obtain payment from your own “underinsured” motorist coverage. Although this type of coverage may cost extra, it is the difference between having thousands of dollars in damages covered if you are injured and having to pay thousands out of pocket.
Pursuing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim can be complicated and difficult. Insurance companies can be reluctant to provide insureds with fair offers under their policies. We often see insurance companies offering only to pay a fraction of medical expenses. When this occurs in an uninsured or underinsured claim, the insurance company or insurance adjuster can be sued.
Much like a typical liability claim, injured parties are entitled to the same damages under their uninsured and underinsured policies including:
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
It is important to consult with an experienced attorney that can assist you on your motor vehicle claim. Statistics have shown that injured claimants with attorneys receive three times the amount of money.