Being involved in a hit and run accident--whether you are a pedestrian or driver, can be very traumatic. But what happens exactly when the driver who hit you doesn’t stop? Who pays for the damages to both you and your vehicle?
In every state, there are hit and run laws. All states require that a driver stop, whether the accident is small such as bumping into a car or catastrophic where injury or even worse is a result from the accident. The laws generally invoke "criminal" penalties for a hit and run, but really don't help much regarding the damages that result to the injured victim.
So if the at-fault driver doesn’t stay, who pays? Here is where it can get tricky.
Your uninsured motorist coverage will end up paying for the damages such as medical treatment, rehabilitation, and even lost wages that were caused by a driver who flees the scene of the accident. Policies will almost always vary, the same goes with the state requirements so be sure to take a look at your policy to ensure it covers uninsured motorist coverage. Property damage will also be covered by your own policy, less your deductible.
To ensure your safety amongst everything else we’ve included a few tips to help keep you safe after a hit and run accident:
1. Try to remember as many details as you can regarding the other driver's vehicle, including the make, model, year, color, bumper stickers, dents, scratches, and even license plate numbers if possible. Anything that can stand-out will help tremendously in locating the at-fault party.
2. Often times injuries won’t show up until a few days or a week after the accident occurred. Stay attentive to how your body feels, and see a Dr. as soon as possible.
3. Get in touch with an Attorney who can help you understand what options you have in recovering for your damages through auto insurance. find one that is willing to file a lawsuit if the at-fault driver is found. (Note: Ask the Attorney's track record in these lawsuits. Most Attorneys are not willing to file a lawsuit for you, even though they might suggest otherwise. Find out before you retain them.).
Understanding your rights is always the first step. The better informed you are, the better you can improve your own chances of recovering for your losses. Find an accident Attorney who in experienced and willing to explain these things to you.