Hit And Run Car Accident Claims

Hit and run situations are difficult for victims. The uncertainty in how your car insurance coverage and rates may be affected, and whether you will be able to seek restitution from your insurance company or the other driver makes it particularly stressful. The following information will help you handle hit and run car accident claims properly, and ensure your rates are not affected. It may also prove helpful and informative for drivers to read our guide on what to do after an auto accident.

Car Accident Report

Your car is damaged. You have scratches, dents, broken lights, or a combination of all of these. To make matters worse, the driver didn’t leave contact information. However, your situation can be drastically different depending on whether you witnessed the accident and were able to write down the driver’s license plate number.

While you’re waiting for the police to arrive so you can report the incident and have a police report as evidence, you locate two other witnesses of the hit-and-run. If they are in a hurry, just get their name and phone number for your insurance company to contact them and get their testimony. Otherwise, have them stick around and give their account of what happened to the police officer.

Not Having Full Coverage

Immediately after you have a chance, report the incident to your car insurance company, but be certain that you have coverage for this type of claim. If you carry full coverage on your vehicle, chances are you will be covered for a hit-and-run accident, and be able to recoup all your expenses minus your deductible.

If you don’t have full coverage, this doesn’t mean you can’t file a claim with the hit-and-run driver’s insurance company, if he’s insured and you were able to get the license plate number. In this case, you will need to file a police report and provide the authorities with the license plate number, the names and contact information for those who witnessed the hit-and-run incident, and the police should be able to track the vehicle.

When the driver is identified, victims will be able to determine if the driver has insurance and is adequately protected in terms of liability limits. If he does not have insurance coverage at all or is under-insured and you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the only recourse left is to file a complaint with your state’s District Attorney’s office. You will be required to provide proof of damages and a police report to initiate a restitution order against the driver. If you get the hit-and-run driver’s contact information, you can also file a lawsuit against him in Small Claims Court.

Working With Your Car Insurance Company

On the other hand, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it’s probably most convenient to work with your own insurance company. Essentially, your provider will either cut you a check and then recoup their losses from the hit and run driver, or they will work as your personal advocate, provide you a lawyer, and take the necessary steps to recover expenses from the driver’s insurance company for damages caused.

Just remember that when you use your own company to file a hit-and-run claim, you will be responsible to cover the deductible amount before any expenses for repairs are disbursed. If you or your insurance carrier are able to recover expenses from the hit-and-run driver, you will ultimately be reimbursed for your deductible.

Final Word

Hit-and-run claims are difficult to deal with. If you are unable to obtain the license plate number of the hit-and-run driver and do not have full coverage or uninsured motorist insurance, there is nothing for you to fall back on and you will have to pay for the damages to your vehicle out of your own pocket. Furthermore, even if you do not catch the driver, but do have full coverage and uninsured motorist insurance, you will be able to file a hit-and-run claim, and receive reimbursement for any damages or repairs minus your deductible. In the end, this deal is better than nothing.

Consumers recently involved in a hit and run car accident should check online quotes before renewing their auto insurance. By doing some research and completing a quick comparison, drivers can make sure they buy the appropriate coverage for their needs. You’ll learn if you’re overpaying for your current insurance policy and whether other car companies can provide lower rates and more protection.