Hit and Run Insurance Liability

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Insurance liability in a hit and run accident can be complicated.  Depending on your state and your particular insurance coverage these claims can be quickly resolved with minimum effort. On the other hand, insurance claims in the hit and run arena can turn into complicated questions of who has to pay. There are two main types of insurance coverage that will protect you in the event of you being a victim of a hit and run accident- uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.   In some states, one or the other will be mandatory coverage’s that you must obtain before you can legally operate a vehicle.  There are certain jurisdictions that will leave the procurement of these coverage’s up to you.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage provides you with protection in the event you get into an accident with someone that doesn’t have insurance or that leaves the scene of the accident.  If the other driver’s information is unavailable, having uninsured motorist coverage is key.  In the case of a hit and run accident where there is no other insurance to cover your injuries, it is your uninsured motorist coverage that will kick in to take care of your medical and property damages up to your selected coverage amount.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage in that will ensure that you are covered in the event of a hit and run.  The difference is that underinsured coverage doesn’t kick in until after you’ve exhausted any at fault coverage available under the other driver’s insurance policy. So, hypothetically if your medical and property damages totaled $50,000 and the at-fault coverage available to you was $25,000, and your underinsured policy coverage amounts is for $15,000, you would be responsible for the remaining $10,000 of damage.

Alternatives

If neither underinsured nor uninsured motorist coverage is available to you, you can either file a claim under your collision coverage or sue.   Filing a claim under your collision coverage will result in you being deemed as the party at fault in the accident, and could cause an increase in rates.  Suing the other party is only a feasible alternative if they can be found and they have no insurance coverage or limited coverage.   An inability to pursue either one of these options will result in you having to cover your property damage and injuries yourself. 

Seeking Legal Advice

Just because you are dealing with your own insurance company doesn’t mean that the process will be simple and easy.  Because of the various laws that deal with defining an uninsured motorist and other aspect of filing an insurance claim, you should definitely make sure to have qualified legal counsel by your side.  Attorneys are experts at protecting your rights in situations like these and hiring one can make a difference in the amount you ultimately recover.

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