Hit and run accidents occur every day across the U.S. Drivers are expected to obey the law in every single state and that is to stop if they are involved in an accident in which property is damaged or people are hurt. Drivers who injure other people, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, or in a motorized vehicle must stop to render assistance, inform emergency services and provide identification and registration details. Unfortunately, some drivers do not stop but flee the scene for several reasons. They may be intoxicated and fear a DUI charge, unregistered, unlicensed, uninsured or a combination of all of these. Hit and run accident victims may be able to pursue a personal injury claim only if the driver is located.
Medical Bills After a Hit and Run Accident
A hit and run accident could cause any number of injuries depending on the circumstances. The victim would be left having to pay the bills unless the driver is located and a personal injury claim can be filed against the driver’s insurance. Medical bills may be for any combination of the following:
- ambulance services to hospital;
- doctor’s consultation and assessment fee;
- hospital bills including cost of stay in hospital, surgery, specialist treatment;
- scans, x-rays, biopsies and blood tests;
- anesthesia if needed for surgery;
- future medical treatment if injuries are ongoing.
Property Damage After a Hit and Run Accident
Property damage could vary from slight damage to your vehicle, like a scratch or dent on the side to total replacement if the vehicle was totaled. You will need to have your vehicle examined by a repair yard to see what the likely cost of repair would be before including this in an insurance claim of your own or a personal injury claim if the driver is located.
In addition to vehicle damage, there may be other property that could have been damaged, like clothes, computer equipment, cell phones or other mobile devices, and anything else of value which was in the vehicle or on your person at the time of the accident.
How a PI Claim Can Help Pay Bills After a Hit and Run Accident
If you have been hit by a hit and run driver as a pedestrian or cyclist, you may have to rely on your own medical insurance if you have any unless the driver who hit you is found. Even if the driver is found and charged with ‘leaving the scene of an accident’, a criminal offense in most states, this won’t help you financially directly. However, it does mean that your chance of proving negligence is much higher if you do go ahead with a personal injury claim. Whether the driver was insured is another matter.
If you were in a car or other vehicle, you have the same problem as a pedestrian, but you may be more likely to have insurance cover for uninsured or underinsured motorists. Also, if the accident happened in a no-fault state and you had PIP insurance, your compulsory insurance may cover your medical and property damage bills. If the driver is located, you have a better chance of pursuing a personal injury claim against him / her.
Why Working With a Lawyer Makes Sense
A personal injury claim can only be filed if the hit and run driver is located, which is a matter for the police. However, it is sensible to discuss your accident with a lawyer as soon as you can to explore what legal options you have to recover damages.