Three Vital Tips You Need to Follow After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident
If you have recently been the unfortunate victim of a hit-and-run car accident, you might be wondering what all of your options are. At The Henry Law Firm, we know that a hit-and-run car accident presents a confusing and frustrating problem. Fortunately, there are options available to you if you have been in a recent Ohio car accident.
According to the Foundation for Traffic Safety, a hit-and-run accident occurs approximately every 43 seconds in America. It is also believed that hit-and-run crashes and fatalities increase each year. Additionally, data has revealed that 7 out of every 10,000 drivers in Ohio have a minimum of one hit and run violation.
Our article will discuss the options you have after a hit-and-run accident and what you need to do after being involved in this type of car accident. If you decide to file a claim, you can speak with our experienced car accident attorney to help you seek justice and compensation for your injuries and damages.
Primary Insurance Options After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident
There are three main insurance options available in Ohio if you have been involved in a hit and run car accident and want to seek compensation for injuries and or damages. Have a look below to learn more about these options.
Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is auto insurance coverage you can purchase to protect you if an uninsured driver has struck you. A hit-and-run driver is uninsured because his insurance coverage cannot be verified.
Uninsured motorist (also called “UM”) coverage may not be included in typical “full coverage” insurance – and may be additional coverage you specifically need to request from your insurance agent or carrier. If you do not have this insurance already – you should procure it immediately! It may be the difference between you and tens of thousands of medical bills if you get hit by an uninsured driver.
Your UM insurance limits will mirror your liability insurance limits. Thus, if you have a $100,000 policy and elect for UM coverage, your UM limits will likely be $100,000. That represents $100,000 of available coverage that you can pursue if you prove you were injured by an uninsured/hit-and-run motorist.
UM coverage is, by far, your best option in the event of a hit-and-run car accident.
Your Own Auto or Personal Health Insurance for Medical Bills
After a hit-and-run car accident, you should still have coverage for your medical bills through your own health insurance company. Have your medical bills submitted directly to your health insurance company – the same as if you had any other medical expense. In addition to your health insurance, you may have “Med Pay” coverage for out-of-pocket or deductible expenses through your own auto insurance policy.
If you have Med Pay coverage on your auto policy, you can file a claim to cover the costs associated with your medical bills and select injury-related losses. You can claim from Med Pay even if you’re at fault or the victim of a hit-and-run accident. The downside with Med Pay is that most policy limits are relatively small – ranging from $500 and not usually exceeding $5,000. Although that money may help with out-of-pocket expenses, it is not available to cover pain and suffering or lost wage damages.
Another personal insurance option available is collision coverage. If you file a claim with this type of insurer, you will only be covering the costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle after a hit-and-run car accident. Collision coverage will only apply if your car was damaged by another vehicle, but you can claim even if the at-fault driver isn’t found.
The Insurance of the Hit-and-Run Driver
Unfortunately, the at-fault driver isn’t found in many hit-and-run car accidents. But sometimes, through investigative techniques, witness statements, and surveillance footage, we can identify a hit-and-run driver. You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for all accident-related losses, including vehicle damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages if the driver is found.
The Henry Law Firm can help you investigate a crash and attempt to locate a hit-and-run driver.
Tips to Consider Following Your Hit-and-Run Car Accident
Being involved in a hit-and-run car accident can be incredibly traumatizing. Should you want to increase your likelihood of obtaining compensation from UM coverage, your health or car insurance, or an at-fault driver or their vehicle insurance, you must follow the below vital tips.
Tip One: Vehicle and Driver Information
You need to obtain information about the fleeing vehicle and write it down as soon as possible so that you don’t forget any details. In most cases, you might only have seconds to get as much information as possible about a fleeing vehicle, so you need to know what to look for.
After a hit-and-run accident, you need to try and memorize or take a picture or video of the license plate number, the make of the vehicle, the color, and the model. Additionally, it would help if you also tried to note any distinguishing features.
Moreover, you need to try and look at the driver’s physical characteristics. This includes if the driver was male or female, how old they appeared, what race they were, and any other distinguishable identifying features like tattoos or scars.
Tip Two: Get in Contact With the Police and Emergency Services
You must contact the police and the emergency services after a hit-and-run car accident. In Ohio, it’s illegal not to stop at or stop near the scene of a car accident.
When the police arrive, you can give them an account of what you remember and allow the emergency personnel to attend to you. The accident report and medical reports from the accident and after the accident will be incredibly beneficial if you file a claim for damages and injuries.
Tip Three: Collect Evidence From the Scene of the Crime
After a hit and run car accident, you need to try and collect evidence from the scene, including obtaining witness statements. While at the accident scene, you should take images of your vehicle’s damages and any injuries you have if you’re able. You should take pictures of any paint transferred to your car, which can help prove that you were hit by another vehicle.
In addition to this, if there is any CCTV footage covering your accident, you should try to get your hands on it or speak with your lawyer to determine if they can obtain it on your behalf.
Get in Touch With an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Today
A hit-and-run car accident can be a financial, physical, and emotionally traumatizing event. If you have been hurt or have sustained damages in this type of accident, you need to consider speaking with an Ohio personal injury lawyer.
Since legal options are available after a hit-and-run accident, The Henry Law Firm can be of assistance. We can help you file a claim with your insurance or against an at-fault driver. Contact us today to discuss your hit-and-run car accident claim.