What Are My Rights After A Hit and Run Accident?
Victims of hit and run accidents may be able to recover for their injuries. Simply because the at-fault party is no where to be found does not necessarily mean that recovery is impossible. A personal injury victim may still be compensated for their costs and damages. This article explores certain circumstances that allow victims to recover. Injury victims should understand their rights to compensation after a hit and run accident.
Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance Policies
Hit and run car accident victims should turn to their own insurance policy. In many states, such as California, motorists can obtain uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage. These coverages provide victims with money. But they only apply if the at-fault party has no insurance or insufficient insurance. Uninsured coverage applies when the at fault party has no insurance. And underinsured insurance applies when the at fault party does not have enough insurance coverage.
How To Make an Uninsured/Underinsured Claim To Enforce Your Rights After a Hit and Run Accident
First, any hit and run accident victim should make a specific claim to their own insurance and request that the insurance company cover all losses. The insurance company will have two options: deny the claim or accept the claim. If the claim is accepted, then the insurance company compensates victims for some or all of their injuries. But if the claim is denied, then the injury victim should further investigate whether the claim was properly denied. To do this, the insured should request a copy of the policy.
What if the UIM Claim Is Denied
Every insured can request a copy of their insurance policy. The insurance policy is a contract between the insured and the insurance carrier that explains when the coverage benefits can apply. The insurance policies that includes UIM benefits usually have a dedicated section explaining the ins and outs of the coverage benefits.
Insureds should review insurance policies after a claim is denied. A claim can only be denied if the policy provides specific exclusions. For example, some automobile policies specifically exclude certain drivers. So if an insurance company denies the claim based on such an exclusion, then the personal injury victim should confirm this on their own.
Consider Other Available Policies That Cover Hit and Run Accidents
Many people injured by hit and run accidents fail to recognize that their injuries could be covered under their relative’s policies. Such is the case many insurance policies not only insure the policy holder, but also the policy holder’s household relatives. While each insurance policy may have different definitions for household relatives, in general, they include spouses, children, parents, and siblings.
Understanding who can receive benefits and when is particularly helpful for personal injury victims who want to recover the most amount of money for their claims.
A UIM Claim Example
To illustrate this point, we let’s consider an example: Arnold is injured while riding as a passenger in Berto’s vehicle, that was hit by a hit and run driver. Arnold, who has his own car insurance, lives with his sister Charmaine, who has her own insurance policy. Under this scenario, even though the accident a third party driver caused the accident, Arnold can be compensated. Three different insurance policies can provide benefits if the three different insurance policies contain UIM coverage. First, Berto’s policy would likely cover Arnold because Arnold is a passenger during the incident. Second, Arnold’s UIM policy provides him benefits. Lastly — and the most surprising — Charmaine’s insurance policy could cover Arnold’s injuries. An insurance company will compensate Arnold if Charmaine’s UIM policy applies to household relatives. This is true even if Charmaine was not involved in the car accident at all.
We Can Enforce Your Rights After a Hit and Run Accident
As the above example demonstrates, it is possible to have various avenues of insurance money to compensate an injury victim — even when it seems like none may exist because the at fault driver drove away. As such, a hit and run accident victims should explore the different insurance policies that could apply to them. Specifically, they should not only consider their own insurance policy, but also their household relatives’ policy.
An experienced personal injury attorney should be able to identify all possible insurance companies. Anderson Franco can advocate for you or your loved one’s injuries. Anderson Franco has extensive experience in representing personal injury victims, including injuries caused by hit and run driver.