Understanding The Legal Process

Dealing With A Hit And Run Accident Claim

by Eli Gregory

In an ideal world, every motorist would stop and exchange information (contact and insurance) after an accident. However, some drivers who believe they can get away with their actions do not always stop. This makes it difficult for victims of hit and run accidents to make claims and get appropriate compensation. However, this shouldn't stop you from pursuing a claim if you are such an accident. Here are some steps to help you get compensation:

Try Looking For the Driver

Try looking for the hit and run motorist. Don't assume that he or she cannot be found just because he or she fled the scene after the accident. The first thing is to report the issue to the police so that they can launch investigations. You can also make inquiries from witnesses who may have noted registration plates of the car; even without the plates, getting the make, model, and color of the car.

It's always advisable to note details of an accident scene, but this is even more necessary if the other motorist has fled. Note the time, weather, location, and any other details. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may even engage the services of a private detective.

Fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. Thus, if you (or the police) manage to locate the driver, then the state may instigate criminal proceedings against him or her. A criminal conviction may strengthen your civil case and increase your chances of getting a sizable injury claim.

Make a No-fault Claim

If you live in a no-fault state, then you can make a claim with your insurer. In such states, your insurer pays for some of your medical bills and lost earnings regardless of who caused the accident. Note that in a no-fault insurance claim, you won't get pain and suffering damages, so your total compensation is likely to be less than what you would get from other states.

Make an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Another option is to make a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage. This is similar to the claim you would make if you get injured in an accident, and it turns out that the liable party isn't insured.

The main problem with this approach is that your insurer is likely to negotiate for the lowest payment possible. Also, most motorists do not take this coverage seriously, and opt for the minimum limit allowed by the state. The combination of these two things means that you are likely to walk away with relatively low compensation. If you can't agree on a figure, then the next step is arbitration (in front of a neutral judge) to help you and the insurance company come to an agreement.

For professional legal help, contact a company such as The Walker Firm.