During 2015, more than 737,000 people were involved in hit and run accidents. That breaks down to one hit and run within a minute. When you’re a victim of a hit and run, it’s traumatic. You don’t have another driver’s insurance information. Even if the police find out who did it, if the car was stolen, the car owner’s insurance doesn’t have to pay. Your insurance policy may help you if you have uninsured driver protection.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
Call 911 first. Explain you were in a hit and run and give as much detail regarding the other car as you can. If it’s still on the road, area officers may be able to spot it and pull it over.
If you’re in a condition that allows you to walk around, get as many photos of the scene as you can. Ask witnesses if anyone owns a dashcam and if you can have footage of the crash. Police will be doing the same thing so don’t worry if you’re not able to do this.
Allow the paramedics to examine you. If you hit your head, you could have head injuries that aren’t immediately apparent to you. You could have internal injuries. Shock and adrenaline following an accident can mask some of the pain and discomfort you’d otherwise be feeling. If they recommend you go to the ER, listen to them. Insurance will cover the medical bills. Make sure the billing department at the hospital knows you were in a hit and run accident so that they know who to bill.
Once you’re released from the scene or hospital, you may need someone else to drive you home. Call a friend or family member as soon as you can to give them time to get out of work or whatever they were doing and get to your location.
Verify that a police report was started. If not, fill out the accident report and ask the police what steps they’re taking to find the hit and run driver. If the officer tells you the damage to your car was too minor to file a report, ask for that officer’s badge number, name, and contact information to give you your insurance company
Call your insurance company or agent. Answer that person’s questions, provide the police officer’s information or police report number, and state you sought medical care if you did. You’ll want to provide copies of the medical invoices if they were given to you.
The Police Found the Car, so Why Doesn’t That Car’s Owner Have to Pay?
Many states have at-fault insurance laws. That means the person who is at-fault is responsible for covering damages in a car accident. That fault may be full or split between several cars. When someone’s car is stolen, they’re not typically to blame. The car’s owner is also a victim as someone else stole and used their car without permission. As they are not at fault, their insurance coverage is not required to pay.
If you learn and can prove in court that the car owner left the keys in the car, left the doors unlocked, and left the car in the driveway, there is a level of negligence there. The owner could be considered to have invited the theft by making it so easy to take the car. If you can prove that, there may be reasonable cause to file a claim against that driver for being partially responsible for the hit and run car accident.
Will Insurance Cover the Loss or Damage of Your Care, Medical Bills, and Property Damage?
Here’s the issue with insurance in a hit and run accident. Whether you’re protected depends on your policy. If you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury, and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage, you may be covered or the repairs or replacement of your car and property damage. Collision coverage can also help. If you saved money and don’t have this coverage, you may not get any money to help cover expenses like lost income, medical bills, and your vehicle. Even if your policy covers the damage, your insurance limits may not be enough to cover your full loss.
You need to talk to a Denver personal injury attorney who specializes in hit and run crashes. Jordan, Herington & Rowley does. They’ve helped many victims get a fair settlement following a car crash. In fact, the award-winning Denver personal injury attorneys have won more than $500 million for their clients. Consultations are free, so there’s no risk in arranging a consultation and seeing if Jordan, Herington & Rowley’s personal injury attorneys can help you. Call now.