Hit-and-run accident is any accident in which the responsible party flees the scene of the accident, instead of stopping exchange ID and insurance information with the other driver/s, and cooperating with police, if present at the scene, as required by law. Being in any car accident isn’t pleasant experience to say the least; being in a hit-and-run accident is only worse.
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are more common than most people would expect. Statistics show that generally hit-and-run accidents make up 10-15% of all car accidents in the United States. Hit-and-run drivers are commonly fleeing the scene of an accident, leaving the other party seriously injured or dead, when urgent medical attention can be critical to treating the injuries suffered or saving the victim of a hit-and-run accident. In fact, the reports of several reputable agencies such as, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), and the American Automobile Association (AA) show that one in ten accidents that are reported to the police involve a hit and run driver.
What brings a person to flee the scene of an accident like this? Many hit-and-run drivers are found to have invalid driver’s license or none at all, or not having valid liability insurance or not having either of the two. In fact, in California, people who do not hold a valid driver’s license cause a whopping 49% of hit-and-run accidents. Of course, they have an incentive to flee the accident scene in order to avoid being arrested and prosecuted for driving without a license and insurance and having their car impounded.
One of the most important things to have in a hit-and-run car accident is a good UM/UIM (uninsured motorist) insurance coverage. This is especially true in the case where you are unable to locate the responsible hit-and-run driver. Then, your UM/UIM policy kicks in and you can obtain compensation from your own insurance company up to the UM limits set in your policy. Of course, making sure that you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is also a very smart addition to your insurance policy, because it will compensate you in those accident when the driver at fault has insufficient insurance coverage. For instance, if you are hit by a driver, who has minimum policy limits of $15k per person / $30k per accident, and you have your own $100k UM/UIM policy, you can obtain up to $85k from your own policy after you exhaust the $15k policy limits of the driver at fault. This is not as important in accidents involving minor injuries, where the costs of the treatment was near or under $5k, but if you suffered a serious injury, having a sufficient UM policy is, again, critical, and its cost is very moderate compared to the protection it provides.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run car accident, contact us to discuss your potential claim. There is no fee to talk about your case or start the process, and there no cost to you unless we win.