Generally, a hit and run accident is defined as a driver crashing their
vehicle into another vehicle, a pedestrian, or onto private property,
and leaving the scene of the accident without stopping, filing a report,
rendering aid if necessary, or providing insurance information. This act
is considered a crime in all 50 states and, depending on the circumstances,
may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Both are punishable by incarceration
and a fine.
Given the nature of hit and run accidents, collecting information is often
a difficult task and victims do not always have a chance to obtain identifying
information, such as the car’s make and model. You should always
file a police report; you can go to the station even after the accident
to do this.
Hiring an attorney, particularly one who has experience with hit and run
accidents, can be a crucial step in collecting evidence since they will
have the necessary resources at their disposal. The evidence they collect
may help identify the hit and run driver and enable you to file suit against
that driver's insurance. Most often, the evidence will help build
a case for when you seek compensation from your own insurance company
if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Some states require uninsured motorist coverage, which is intended to cover
damages when a driver either does not have insurance or, as is the case
with hit and run accidents, cannot be unidentified, but this might not
be enough. California requires a minimum of $15,000 uninsured motorist
coverage, unless you sign a document expressly indicating that you do
not want to buy uninsured motorist coverage.
If you do buy UM coverage, you also get UIM or underinsured motorist coverage.
This means if the other driver is insured bus has less insurance than
you do under your UIM policy, you can potentially collect the balance
from your own company. For instance, if the other driver has $100,000
coverage and you have $500,000 UIM coverage, once the other driver's
insurer has paid his policy limits to you, you can then make a claim for
the remaining $400,000 against your own insurer.
To prove your UM case to an insurance company, your attorney will collect
evidence to prove:
- The accident was a hit and run and the motorist was never identified..
- The accident was caused by the hit and run driver.
- You sustained harms and damages.
Despite the fact that you will be working with your own insurance company,
your claim may still be unfairly denied or they might offer you a low
settlement, which is why you need a lawyer who has the skills to build
a solid case in order to assure that you collect the maximum amount of
compensation you are entitled to.
At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles serious injury specialists have aggressively
pursued compensation on behalf of our clients since 1977. If you are suffering
from injuries sustained in a car accident, you need an experienced attorney
who knows how to successfully prove that the other driver caused the accident
and how to maximize your damages. We work with the best liability and
damage experts in the business. Call us today to schedule a free consultation
at (310) 896-4345.