If you were injured in an auto accident that was caused by a hit and run, you may need help paying your medical bills and making up for missed work, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Filing a personal injury claim can help ensure that you are awarded the damages you need to get back on your feet. If the driver who caused your crash and injuries left the scene, there are still options available to you for filing a personal injury claim.
What to Do in a Hit and Run Accident
If you are injured in a car accident and the other driver flees the scene, it is considered a hit and run accident. Technically, both drivers have a legal responsibility to stay at the scene of the accident. Don’t try to chase down the other driver. Instead, call the police, as well as any medical assistance you may need, and be sure to file a report.
If possible, you can try to make note of any identifying features of the other driver, such as their car’s make and model and the license plate number. Also, see if there were any witnesses to the accident with whom you can exchange contact information in case you need their testimony in the future.
Insurance for Hit and Run Accidents
You may be wondering who will pay for your injuries and damages if the other driver is unknown. If you happen to live in one of the few no fault states in the United States, including:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Then you are able to make a no fault claim with your own insurance company. No fault insurance means that your own insurance company will pay for a portion or all of your medical bills and damages, regardless of who was responsible for the accident.
If you do not live in one of the no fault states mentioned above, there are other options for compensation. The first is through your own Uninsured Motorist Coverage with your insurance company. This coverage protects you if you were injured by the driver of an uninsured vehicle, and it can be applicable to use in the case of a hit and run accident.
Another option is to use the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage included with your own policy. Keep in mind that this will cover strictly medical bills, not damage to your vehicle or “pain and suffering” expenses, and it could also likely increase your insurance premium.
Lastly, you could file a claim with your own insurance company under your collision coverage. This will also most likely increase your rates.
Personal Injury Attorneys
It may be wise to consider hiring a personal injury attorney when filing a personal injury claim in the event of a hit and run accident. An attorney will help you navigate through the different options available to you to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve without raising your own insurance rates due to someone else’s senseless act.