Although leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in most jurisdictions, hit and run crashes are all too common. According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, since 2006 there has been an average of 682,000 hit and run accidents in the United States each year. Sometimes negligent motorists can be found, but what happens if you are the victim of a hit and run driver who can’t be tracked-down? A car accident lawyer can help you figure out your options, which may include recovering compensation for your injuries and property damage from your own auto insurance policy.
Ways to Recover Compensation after a Hit and Run
There are several ways you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, damage to your vehicle, and other losses. The best personal injury lawyers recommend that drivers carry more than the minimum Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UI/M) coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. In addition, you should always carry adequate amounts of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance as well. Although these add-ons are required in some states, purchasing the minimum amount of coverage required may not even cover all your medical bills, let alone repairs and other accident-related expenses. Paying a few more dollars a month for your car insurance is well worth the cost.
However, just because you have insurance doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be covered. You must show proof of the accident and your damages, so it is critical to call police after a hit and run crash. They may be able to find the negligent driver and a police report providing valuable documentation that gives proof of what happened. It is also important to keep all medical bills, receipts and any other evidence that may back up your claim for damages.
If you don’t have insurance coverage or your insurer denies your claim, check and see if your state has a victim’s fund to help cover costs. Your health insurance may also pay for all or a portion of accident-related medical bills.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making money and their top priority is the bottom line. Even if you provide proof of the accident and your damages, an insurer may try to minimize or deny your claim. An experienced accident or injury lawyer can evaluate your case and review your auto insurance policy to determine exactly which accident-related damages you may be entitled to receive. In addition to conducting an investigation to try and find a hit and run driver, your lawyer will handle negotiations with your insurer and fight to help you recover the maximum compensation you need and deserve to protect your health and financial security.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit and run driver, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact an accident attorney to schedule a free case evaluation and find out your options for recovery.