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Insurance Coverage, Hit and Run Accidents, and Your Rights


Hit and RunGenerally, 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.