All car accidents are frightening as well as frustrating, but hit-and-run accidents can be especially terrifying. When the party responsible for your injuries flees the scene of the accident, you may be left wondering how you can recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track, especially if your damages are severe.
Before we discuss some of the options available to hit-and-run victims, we should note that an experienced car accident lawyer from Van Law Firm can answer all of your accident-related questions, including hit-and-run scenarios. Call our office nearest you today to schedule a free consultation.
How Do I Receive Coverage in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
After a hit-and-run accident takes place, the first thing you should do is find out whether or not you have underinsured or uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in your policy, if you don’t know already. These are additional coverages that are designed to compensate accident victims in the event that the at-fault driver has limited coverage or none at all–they apply to hit-and-run cases because absent drivers are viewed the same way as uninsured drivers.
Insurance laws vary by state, but UM/UIM coverage is not mandatory in most jurisdictions. However, given the importance of these backup coverages, you have to sign a waiver relinquishing these provisions in order to not carry them. Your insurer must keep this waiver on record–if an accident occurs and they cannot produce a copy of this waiver, they must extend UM/UIM coverage to you in the same amount as liability coverage.
Typically, you must pay a deductible before you are eligible to receive UM/UIM coverage, and this deductible will obviously vary depending on your policy and insurance carrier. Claimants should also keep in mind that hit-and-run accidents are considered criminal offenses, and they can also pursue criminal charges if they so please. A criminal case can run concurrently alongside a civil claim, or afterwards if a court rules the defendant to be not guilty of criminal charges.
When you file a UM/UIM claim, your insurer essentially steps in to take the place of the guilty party, and you have to argue your case in the same way you would in a standard accident scenario. These claims can become very contentious, as accident victims are usually frustrated by the fact that they are having to fight for coverage that they already pay for. Insurers love to talk about helping those in need, but make no mistake, they will go to great lengths to avoid paying coverage for any claim, even if it’s justified. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important to retain a car accident lawyer, so that you have the best chance of recovering full compensation.
Need Help Getting Compensated for a Hit-and-Run? Call VLF Today
If you need help recovering compensation for a hit-and-run accident, or would like to speak with top-tier car accident lawyers, call Van Law Firm as soon as possible. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team will work with you every step of the way, to ensure that the parties responsible for your injuries are held accountable. Call our office nearest you for more information.