A hit-and-run is a motor vehicle accident in which one of the parties involved—usually the one at fault—leaves the scene without stopping. Often, drivers who flee do so because they know they are at fault, they have no insurance, or they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Victims of hit-and-run crashes are entitled to compensation for financial burdens following the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages, but the means through which they are compensated often differ from other types of crashes.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Crash
Call the police immediately. A hit-and-run accident must be reported to the police if you are going to seek compensation for injuries and property damage. Police involvement also improves your chances of finding the hit-and-run driver.
If you happened to get a look at the vehicle before the driver left the scene, share that information with police. You can also ask any witnesses if they can describe the vehicle or if they got a license plate number.
Depending on where the accident occurred, there may be surveillance camera footage available to help determine the identity of the hit-and-run driver.
Sources of Compensation If the Hit-and-Run Driver Cannot Be Found
It can be tough to track down negligent drivers, and sometimes they are never caught. If you are a victim in a hit-and-run accident, you will likely have to collect from your own insurance company through an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim. Although this type of insurance coverage isn’t mandatory in Alaska, your insurance company will offer it as an option. When buying auto insurance, it is always a great idea to purchase underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage as part of your policy.
Although you would assume your own insurance company would keep your best interests in mind, their goal is always to pay out the least amount of money possible. This is why it’s important to hire an attorney who is experienced in hit-and-run accidents to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Don’t fight the battle on your own after a hit-and-run accident. Contact attorney Ben Crittenden for a free consultation. Be sure to request your free copy of A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska.