If I Was Involved in a Hit and Run, Can I Still File a Claim?
There is nothing more frustrating than being involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, except when that negligent driver flees the scene. No one knows who the driver is, their auto liability insurer, or the limits of their policy. While law enforcement investigates in an attempt to identify the hit-and-run driver, you are incurring medical expenses and need to have your vehicle repaired.
Even if the driver is never located, you may have options for recovering compensation for your damages. At Shep Law Group, we help victims recover money owed to them for the damages caused by a hit-and-run driver. We proudly serve clients in Boise, Meridian, Canyon County, Ada County, and throughout the state of Idaho.
How Can I File a Personal Injury Claim in an Idaho Hit and Run?
To file any personal injury claim in Idaho, you must prove that someone owed a duty of care, that they failed to exercise that duty, and that as a result, you sustained injuries and damages, such as medical expenses or lost wages. Obviously, this is a difficult burden when the other driver flees the scene of the crash.
Idaho law requires that auto owners carry liability insurance with minimum coverage of $25,000 per person injured in an accident, $50,000 per accident if more than one person is injured, and $15,000 for property damage. Liability insurance covers a driver whose negligence causes a crash.
Insurance companies doing business in Idaho are required to offer their insureds uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as well as medical payment benefits. Drivers, however, can opt-out of these coverages if they want to avoid paying the cost of them. However, these coverages in your auto insurance policy are critical if you are involved in a hit and run while in a vehicle or even as an injured pedestrian or bicyclist.
If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver while in your vehicle, and you have uninsured motorist coverage included in your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim against your coverage. Don’t assume payment of a claim from your own insurance company will be any easier to obtain than pursuing a third-party claim against the other driver’s liability insurer. Even your insurer may attempt to deny or devalue your claim, so you should work with an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue one.
If you have medical payment coverage, you can file a claim for those benefits which are always available to you, no matter who is at fault for an accident. Furthermore, if you were a pedestrian or riding a bicycle while injured by a hit-and-run driver, you can claim the medical payment benefits from your auto insurance to help pay medical expenses.
If the driver is found, you can pursue a claim against their liability insurance coverage or file a personal injury lawsuit against them. If a loved one has died as a result of injuries from a hit and run, a wrongful death action can be filed by the representative of the estate, the heirs of the estate, the surviving spouse, or the surviving children or parents.
What Steps Should I Take if I’m Injured in a Hit and Run?
The first thing you should do is move to a safe place and seek medical attention. Any claim you make will require medical documentation of diagnosis, treatment, and expenses.
Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to pursue the fleeing driver. Instead, write down any information you can get, including:
- The make, model, and color of the vehicle
- Any distinguishing features of the vehicle, such as a parking permit, bumper sticker, dealer insignia, license plate frames, dents or scratches, oversized tires, running-board lights, or a unique exhaust system
- Anything you can get from the license plate, including state of registration and as many numbers and letters as possible
- A physical description of the driver
If you are able, talk to any witnesses. Get their names, contact information, and any details of the vehicle or driver they remember.
Call 911 and wait for law enforcement to arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident is also a criminal act, so they will need to investigate.
Contact your auto insurance company to open a claim.
Hire a results-driven personal injury attorney to help you explore all avenues for recovering compensation for your damages.
Getting the Experienced Legal Support You Need
Finding compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you incur in a personal injury or wrongful death claim resulting from a hit and run is challenging. Personal injury attorneys, such as those here at Shep Law Group, have risen to the challenge many times.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a hit-and-run accident, call Shep Law Group to schedule a free consultation. Let us do the work while you recover. Call now.