If an individual causes a vehicle accident and knowingly leaves the scene before providing information, this is known as a hit-and-run accident. When someone hits your vehicle in a parking lot and leaves without providing information, this is also considered a hit-and-run. It can be difficult to collect compensation on this type of accident but not impossible. Below, we discuss hit-and-run accidents, insurance and what you should do.
What does your insurance cover?
There are different policies that cover different aspects of damage or different types of accidents. For instance, there is uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. The first covers medical bills and lost wages and property damage covers your vehicle. These have certain limits and may have a deductible.
Personal injury protection may cover medical bills, lost wages and even things like child care if needed while you recover. This coverage is mandatory in some states. Collision helps cover you no matter who is at fault, so this may cover hit-and-run accidents. There is a deductible with this coverage.
Medical payments coverage takes care of medical bills that aren’t completely covered by medical insurance. This insurance goes into effect no matter who is at fault, so it may cover hit-and-run accidents, as well.
What should you do?
If you find yourself in a hit-and-run situation, there are things you can do. First of all, try and get as much information about the vehicle as possible if you are able. You should also check for any witnesses who may have seen what happened. Get their statements and contact information so they can be contacted later if needed.
Call the police and fill out a report right away. Waiting can work against you as far as your case goes. If witnesses are there, the police will take a statement from them, too. If anyone needs medical attention, that should be taken care of as soon as possible.
You should speak with a personal injury attorney before speaking with the insurance company. An experienced attorney can give you proper advice on what direction you should go in next. Afterwards, you should report the accident to the insurance company. In many cases, you should have about 24 hours to report the accident to your insurance company for it to be considered a hit-and run, so time is important.
What should you not do?
There are some things that you shouldn’t do when faced with a hit-and-run accident. Never chase the other driver that hit you. This can be dangerous, you could end up with a ticket or you could end up in a worse accident than the one you are in.
If you are hit in a parking lot and the driver leaves, you can report this as a hit-and-run. Just remember that you must be able to prove that another driver actually hit you. Some drivers will hit something with their car and then try to claim that they were hit by a driver. Fraud is a serious charge and you will endure serious penalties for this.
When you are faced with a hit-and-run accident, there are things you should immediately take care of. The more information you have on the other driver, the easier it will be to catch them.
Depending on your type of insurance, you may be able to claim this accident and have your medical bills and mechanic bills covered. Passengers in your car may also be covered.
The individual who caused the hit-and-run will likely face a felony hit-and-run charge. Contacting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is important. He understands the laws of your state and can advise you on which direction to go.