The process of earning compensation for the damages and/or injuries incurred in a car accident already presents unique challenges and complexities, even when all involved parties are cooperating in the same capacity. Once a party is excluded, however, whether that be due to their refusal to participate in the collection of information after the incident, or even because it was a hit-and-run, things become more difficult. When someone hits your vehicle and does not remain at the scene, you may be left without evidence that could make or break your case. Still, not all hope is lost. With the help of experienced car accident lawyers such as Ellis Injury Law, you will get the settlement you need to fund your recovery.
What Counts as a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident is exactly what most people envision it to be. If a vehicle were to strike other vehicles, objects, or a pedestrian, and immediately flee the scene without exchanging information, this would qualify as a hit-and-run. The key here is the neglect to exchange information. Drivers who leave their personal information and continue to file a police report are not guilty of a hit-and-run, even if they do not interact with the victim face-to-face.
An accident can qualify as a hit-and-run no matter where it occurs, whether it be on a highway or a city street. The vast majority – 69% – of hit-and-run incidents reported to insurance agencies involved parked vehicles, and the numbers continue to rise over the years. If your vehicle has been struck by another driver and you were unable to procure the personal information of the guilty party, you are entitled to compensation. Though it may seem impossible given the absence of identifying information, you still have ways by which you can earn the necessary compensation to cover the expenses of your accident.
What to Do If You Have Been the Victim of a Hit-and-Run
One of the key factors that distinguish hit-and-run settlements from other incidents is that you are given the responsibility of negotiating a settlement with your insurer on your own. Still, there is a catch: To initiate such negotiations, you must have uninsured motorist coverage, and further, that coverage must have limits high enough to cover your total losses.
To qualify for a settlement, you must first be able to prove that the vehicle belonging to the individual who fled from the scene made physical contact with your own. (In other words, you must prove that they did not simply cause the events that led to your vehicle being damaged, but that they directly struck your vehicle with their own.) The case must be reported to the police within 24 hours, and to your insurer within 30 days. You may face difficulties in uncovering all the necessary evidence in this time, so you must hire the assistance of a car accident attorney.
An experienced car accident attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to provide all the necessary evidence for a strong case in your defense. They will also negotiate the settlement on your behalf, to ensure you are not being cheated by insurance companies looking to cut corners. Get in contact with an attorney today to open up your case.