A hit-and-run car accident can be terrifying, often leaving those involved with painful injuries, surrounded by wreckage.
But when the driver responsible for the accident flees the accident scene, the situation becomes even more dire. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can help. Our team will work to hold the at-fault driver accountable, fighting for the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn more.
A hit-and-run accident is a collision where the other driver leaves the scene without reporting the wreck, offering assistance, or exchanging contact information. In addition to car accidents with other vehicles, this includes collisions with pedestrians or objects.
In most states, leaving the scene (regardless of fault) is illegal. Depending on the severity of the resulting injuries, this crime could be a misdemeanor or felony.
If the driver who left the scene cannot be identified, you’ll most likely have to pay for accident-related expenses, like medical bills and vehicle repairs. If you have full auto insurance coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, however, your policy may provide compensation for your losses.
If you were involved in a collision and the other driver left the scene, our car accident lawyers recommend the following:
STEP 1: CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.
Dial 911 right away and wait for law enforcement to arrive. The police may be able to identify the other driver and track them down. They will also file an accident report which will serve as key evidence in your accident claim.
STEP 2: RECEIVE MEDICAL ATTENTION.
When calling 911, make sure to mention that emergency medical services are needed. Even if they are not, it is very important to visit your doctor as soon as possible after your car accident. This will not only ensure you receive the proper care but also help strengthen your accident claim.
STEP 3: DOCUMENT ALL ACCIDENT DETAILS.
Jot down the details you remember about the accident, including everything from the weather and road conditions to the other vehicle’s description. Make note of any details you noticed about the driver as well. Try to remember the following details:
STEP 4: GATHER WITNESSES’ CONTACT INFORMATION.
If there were any witnesses present, get their contact information and ask them to wait for the police to arrive. Their testimony may be helpful in holding the hit-and-run driver accountable.
STEP 5: NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.
Contact your insurer as soon as you can after the accident. Or better yet, let your car accident attorney handle all communication with your insurer – and every aspect of your accident claim too!
Note: If a driver hit your unoccupied parked car and left a note, be sure to convey the information they provided to both the police and your insurer. The insurance company will often collaborate with the at-fault driver's insurer to settle the accident claim in the most efficient manner possible.
Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance to cover any damages they may cause to others. But if the at-fault driver flees the scene or is uninsured, you may be left holding the bills for medical care and vehicle repairs. That’s where collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage come in! Here at The Mike Hostilo Law Firm, our car accident lawyers have broken down the various coverage types.
If you have this type of coverage, your policy will pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it sustains damage in a collision with another object or in a roll-over accident. In the event of a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to file an accident claim in pursuit of compensation even if the other driver isn't identified. You will, however, need to pay your deductible before your insurance company steps in to pick up the tab. But if the other driver is found, you might be able to recover those costs.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
This policy may be used to pay medical bills, lost wages, or vehicle repairs (if applicable in your state) if the hit-and-run driver at fault doesn't have insurance or is not found. Keep in mind that this coverage isn't available in every state. Plus, in some states where coverage is available, hit-and-run accidents aren't always covered. It’s important to note that lack of insurance is one common reason that a driver might flee the scene. If you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage, your own insurance company might cover your repair costs after a hit-and-run. Similarly, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage may cover your medical costs.
If you’re not sure what your policy would cover in a hit-and-run accident, check with your insurance company.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you need trusted legal representation now more than ever. Attorney Mike Hostilo and our experienced team of car accident lawyers are standing by to help, ready to handle your accident claim from start to finish. Contact Mike Hostilo Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation!
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