Being involved in an auto accident can be physically painful, emotionally stressful, and financially challenging. Victims of hit-and-run drivers may wonder how they will be compensated for their injuries if the other driver can’t be found.
Keep in mind that there are basically two kinds of states when it comes to auto accident compensation: tort states (38) and no-fault states (12, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.). In a tort state, fault must be determined in an accident. The at-fault driver and his/her insurance company are responsible for compensating the victim(s) for their damages. If damages exceed the insurance policy’s limits, the victim may take the liable party to court to obtain the rest of their damages.
Obtaining Compensation Following a Hit-and-Run Auto Collision
However, when a hit-and-run driver can’t be found, determining their insurance or taking legal action against them is obviously impossible. That’s when uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can be a lifeline. UM/UIM coverage guards against drivers with no insurance or whose insurance policy limits are too low to cover your damages. Damages caused by a hit-and-run driver will fall under UM/UIM coverage, although property damage might not be included. UM/UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive. Purchase as much as you reasonably can.
In no-fault states, a driver’s own insurance company compensates them for their injuries, no matter who was at fault—including hit-and-run drivers. UM/UIM insurance can provide enhanced coverage for reimbursing medical bills and lost wages.
If you are ever the victim of a hit-and-run driver, contact the police immediately, and then get in touch with an experienced auto accident attorney to protect your rights.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident
If you have been in a hit-and-run auto collision, you need an experienced car accident lawyer can investigate what happened and help you get the fair recovery that you deserve. To learn more, please read our free report, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, or call attorney Ben Crittenden today to schedule a free case evaluation.