Can You Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

a damaged car after a collision

The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimated in 2015 that 13 percent of all drivers in America were uninsured. If an uninsured driver causes an accident, they are more likely to leave the scene before it is legal for them to do so.

For insurance purposes, a hit and run accident are treated like an accident in which the negligent party did not have auto insurance. The problem with uninsured drivers and hit and run accidents is that when an accident occurs, no matter whose fault it is, the known driver or the driver with insurance is left holding the accident’s monetary burden. If this happened to you, you need a reliable Los Angeles based personal injury lawyer who will fight for you.

What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?

An average of 682,000 hit and run accidents happen each year, according to AAA researchers. These accidents are increasingly common. Even ones that do not cause injury or death can cause thousands of dollars in property damage. A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver fails to stop after an accident under California law. There are three general types of hit-and-run accidents:

  • A motorist leaves the scene of a crash involving more than one driver
  • A motorist leaves the scene after hitting a parked vehicle
  • A motorist leaves the scene after hitting a pedestrian, cyclist or another road user

California law demands that whenever there is an accident, even a minor one, all drivers remain at the accident scene. If they do not stay, exchange relevant information and contact the police, they could receive misdemeanor charges and a hefty fine. Even still, some drivers leave the scene of the accident immediately. Perhaps they do not have insurance, are wanted by law enforcement, are in denial, or don’t want to accept responsibility.

Recovering Compensation after a Hit-and-Run Accident

Once the other driver has left the scene, there isn’t much you can do to hold them accountable. You should still file a police report. If the police find that driver, they will keep them criminally accountable for their actions, and you can pursue a civil claim against them or their insurance company for compensation. However, in many cases, they are never found.

As such, California law mandates uninsured motorist coverage. Unless you reject this coverage in writing, it will be included in your policy. This type of coverage can be used for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a hit-and-run accident.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you can file a claim. However, even though you are their insured, many auto insurance companies will use several tactics to deny your claim or to lesson it. If you feel that your insurance company is not living up to their agreement to you, you need to hire a skilled Los Angeles personal injury attorney to ensure you are getting compensation for your accident.

Call a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney for Help

Don’t assume your own insurance company will treat you fairly after a hit-and-run accident. Thinking this would be a mistake. Speak to a trusted advocate to determine what your next steps should be. Receive your hit-and-run case evaluation with a seasoned Los Angeles personal injury lawyer today at Jahrmarkt & Associates. Call (310) 226-7676 or use our online contact form.