Are you looking for a hit and run attorney to help you file a claim after an accident occurred where the at-fault driver left the scene of an accident? If so, our law firm can help. We provide free consultations for all of our clients to help determine if we can help them get the results they need after the other driver chose to flee the scene of their auto accident. Reach out to us today to learn more about filing an injury claim.
A “hit-and-run” happens when a driver involved in an accident fails to stop at the scene of the crash, share contact and insurance information, and give any needed assistance.
Hit-and-run accidents cause all of the same headaches that typical car accidents cause along with additional burdens. A hit-and-run victim’s injuries might be more severe because it took longer to get medical treatment. And hit-and-run victims are less likely to get compensation for accident-related losses (like car repair and medical bills), especially when they can’t find the driver who hit them.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Hit and Run Accident?
The first thing you should do after a hit-and-run accident is to make sure everyone is safe. Don’t follow the fleeing driver. Instead, call 911 if you or anyone involved in the accident is injured and then call the police. A hit-and-run violation is a crime. The police will write a report and start looking for the driver.
Gather as much information about the fleeing car and driver as you can, including:
- license plate number (even a partial number is helpful)
- make, model, and color
- description of accident-related damage
- description of the driver, and
- the direction the fleeing car was headed.
You’ll also want to:
- find witnesses who saw the car accident (other drivers, people on the street, shopkeepers in the neighborhood)
- look for surveillance and doorbell cameras in the area, and
- take photos of the damage to your car and your injuries.
How Insurance Claims Work After a Hit and Run
If you’re injured in a hit-and-run, insurance might help you cover the cost of car repairs, transportation, medical bills, and other accident-related expenses. Let’s take a look at when you might—and might not—be covered.
All states require drivers to have insurance. Most states follow an “at-fault” model: The driver who’s to blame for the accident pays for accident-related damages, usually through liability-based car insurance. Of course, if you don’t know who the at-fault driver is, you won’t get compensation from that driver’s insurer.
So, if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver in an at-fault state, you’ll probably have to rely on your own insurance coverage for compensation (see below) or file a civil lawsuit if you manage to track the driver down. You might also be able to turn to your state’s crime victim compensation board. These government-run compensation programs can help crime victims recoup losses even when an offender hasn’t been convicted.
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in one of the dozen or so no-fault insurance states, your own “personal injury protection” (PIP) car insurance will likely cover your medical bills, lost earnings, and other injury-related expenses like household help. PIP is mandatory in no-fault states (and an optional add-on in most at-fault states). You can make a PIP claim regardless of who caused the accident.
But PIP doesn’t cover vehicle damage after an accident. You’ll need collision coverage to get your car fixed or replaced after an accident.
Your Own Health and Car Insurance
You might be able to make a claim under your own car insurance policy to cover some expenses after a hit-and-run accident. A claim against your own insurance company is called a “first party claim.” You don’t have to know who hit you to make a first party claim. Coverage varies from state to state and depends on the details of your policy. Potential options include:
- PIP or medical payments (Medpay). These no-fault insurance policies cover your medical bills and some injury-related losses whether you’re at fault for the accident or the victim of a hit and run. Learn more PIP and Medpay claims.
- Collision coverage. This kind of insurance typically pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s been damaged in a collision with another car. So, if you’re the victim of a hit and run, you might be able to make a claim on your collision policy even if the other driver isn’t found.
- Uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UMI) insurance covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses from a hit-and-run accident. Learn more about making a UMI claim.
Houston Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!
Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.