Being in a car accident caused by another driver is frustrating. However, when that driver “hits and runs,” the frustration increases. Not only do you need to deal with the consequences of the accident, but you also bear the cost of repairing your car and medical expenses. Is there anything you can do after a hit and run accident to recover compensation or injuries? You can contact a California car accident attorney to discuss your options for filing an uninsured injury claim to help recover the money you lost because of a hit and run driver.
Hit and Run is a Crime in California
If a driver leaves the scene of a traffic accident, the driver can face a criminal charge. Leaving the scene of an accident can be a misdemeanor charge or a felony, depending on the facts in the case. Felony hit and run typically applies in cases that involve physical injuries.
What Should You Do If You Are in a Hit and Run Accident?
If a hit and run driver causes your accident, you need to pull over to a safe location and call 911 to report the crash and wait for a police officer to arrive. While you are waiting, make sure that you ask any eyewitnesses who stop to render aid for their names and contact information. If they leave before an officer arrives, you can give the officer their information so that the officer can contact the witnesses to obtain their statements. Eyewitnesses are important because they provide information in the criminal case and your insurance claim.
As with any traffic accident, you should go to the emergency room if you sustain injuries. If you do not go to the ER, you should see your family doctor to determine the extent of your injuries. Documenting your physical injuries is a crucial step in the claims process. You must have evidence of your injuries and losses to recover compensation for an injury claim.
Continue to document your injuries and losses carefully during your recovery. Even though a hit and run driver caused the accident, you may still recover compensation for your damages.
Who Pays for Expenses and Losses in a Hit and Run Accident?
When a hit and run driver causes a crash, the victims of the accident may assume they have no way to recover compensation because the driver is unknown. However, law enforcement officers can identify some hit and run. Therefore, you should follow up with the police periodically to inquire about the investigation. You can file an injury claim with the driver’s insurance provider if law enforcement officers identify the hit and run driver.
However, you also may recover compensation from your insurance company pursuant to your uninsured insurance coverage. Hit and run accidents are treated as uninsured insurance claims. You file your claim against your insurance coverage to receive compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, and noneconomic (pain and suffering) damages.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney for Help
Unfortunately, many individuals believe that since they are dealing with their insurance company, they do not need the assistance of an attorney when filing an uninsured insurance claim. However, you should treat an uninsured insurance claim as you would an insurance claim against another driver’s coverage. Simple missteps can result in a denial of your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our California personal injury attorneys can help you avoid missteps that could hurt your chances of receiving compensation for a hit and run accident.