Hit and Run Accident Laws: Liability and Insurance Coverage

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The hit and run accident laws when it comes to liability and insurance coverage vary slightly by state. Generally, most insurance companies will pay for damage you caused to another party in a hit and run accident once the police and that party identify you as the person who caused the accident. However, if you violated the terms of your policy, your insurance company may try to deny you coverage. They may also drop you as a client. Finally, your insurance company will not defend you in a criminal lawsuit.

Will Your Insurance Company Pay Your Bills for a Hit and Run?

Many insurance companies will pay for the damages to a third party’s person or property that occurred as a result of a hit and run. The specific terms of your policy should be carefully reviewed though to determine if there are any coverage exclusions; if so, your insurer may attempt to either deny you coverage for the claim or may try to recover monetary payments from you for monies they paid out.

In addition, if you are accused of a hit and run accident, your insurance company may discontinue your insurance policy from that point forward. This will mean you are not permitted to drive until you find new insurance. You may have difficulty finding an insurance company that will cover you, and as such you may need to join the state’s assigned risk pool. This is insurance offered by the state at high prices for those who cannot get conventional insurance; you will generally be limited to the state minimums required by law if you get insurance through the assigned risk pool.

Your insurance company generally will not pay for collision damages to your own vehicle if you cause those damages as a result of a hit and run. Again, every policy is different so you will need to check the terms of your policy to determine your coverage.

Criminal Liability

A hit and run in most states can also subject you to criminal liability in addition to a civil suit. Your insurance company will generally not pay your criminal defense fees or fines. In addition, anything you say to your insurance company in your insurance records can be used against you in criminal court.

This means that if you tell your insurer that you were driving the vehicle at the time the accident occurred- which you will need to do in order for them to provide you with indemnification for your liability in the civil suit- the police can subpoena that information and use it against you in court.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been accused of a hit and run, you should contact an attorney. He can explain to you what your insurance companies obligations are and can provide you with detailed information about the hit and run accident laws for liability and Insurance coverage in your state.