Anyone who is involved in a car accident in California has a legal obligation to stop and exchange information with the other parties. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to fulfill this obligation. If a driver leaves the scene, the injured parties will not have a chance to exchange insurance information so they can file a claim and recover compensation. Fortunately, there are other options available. Here's what you should do if you're injured in a hit and run car accident:
Call the Police
If you can, call the police and provide them with as much information as possible about the vehicle that left the scene. It would be helpful to have a license plate number, but you may not have been able to get it before the car sped away. Even if you only know the color and type of vehicle that the driver was in, this may help the police track down the person who caused the accident. If the driver is caught, you will be able to pursue a personal injury claim against him.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage in California, but many do anyways for extra protection. If you do have it, this will cover any property damage and injuries that you have suffered as a result of the hit and run accident.
Filing an uninsured motorist claim is similar to filing a typical car accident claim, with one exception. Instead of filing the claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company, you will need to file it with your own.
Even though you are filing the claim with your own insurance company, it's in your best interests to work with an attorney. The insurance adjuster will try to get you to settle for as little as possible even though you are a paying policyholder. Remember, insurance companies are more concerned with profits than people.
Medical Pay Benefits Coverage
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, your best bet is to determine if you have medical pay benefits coverage in your policy. "Med pay" will cover some of the medical bills that you have incurred as a result of your injuries. This coverage can be used regardless of who is at fault in the accident, so many people turn to it after a hit and run when they do not have uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, you should not expect to be fully compensated for your medical expenses if you are using this coverage.
If you have been injured in a hit and run, get in touch with James Rush at Rush Injury Law immediately. James Rush will thoroughly review your case and help you understand the legal options for recovering compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com today.