Written by attorney Timothy R. Miley

5 Facts About Insurance Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run car accidents are far more commonplace than one might think. Approximately 11 out of every 100 accidents are hit and runs, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Hit and run accidents are particularly complex and frustrating, and pursuing insurance coverage for hit and run accidents can be quite difficult.

There are several key facts about insurance and hit and run accidents that are important for all drivers to know.

#1: UM Insurance Coverage Helps Dramatically

When someone is the victim of a hit and run accident, having uninsured motorist coverage (UM) cover the victim’s damages in the event that he or she is in an accident in which the other driver either doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have enough insurance or is unidentified (as with a hit and run).

UM coverage will allow victims to pursue compensation for their losses in a hit and run. The coverage can be broken into two basic categories:

  • bodily injury (injuries to the driver and passengers); and
  • property damage (damage to the vehicle).

Uninsured motorist coverage is a state requirement in West Virginia. Some motorists also choose to supplement their policy with underinsured motorist coverage, which provides coverage if another motorist’s insurance is not enough to cover all damages.

#2: Insurance May Not Be Enough

Insurance is often simply not enough to cover the damages from an accident. Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, explains: "Although you're required to have a minimum level of insurance to register your car, the coverage is not always guaranteed to meet your individual needs."

The types of insurance you may have and/or the amount of coverage you have might not cover the expenses of the accident. And unfortunately, most people don’t realize the importance of having adequate coverage until they’ve found themselves struggling to pay for all their expenses in the aftermath of an accident.

#3: Collecting Evidence is Crucial

When filing a claim after a hit and run accident, you and your attorney will need to collect evidence to prove your case to the insurance company. You’ll have to prove that:

  • the accident was caused by a unknown motorist;
  • reasonable efforts have been made to identify the other driver and find out if the other driver had any existing insurance policies; and
  • you suffered actual injuries and damages as a result of the accident.

#4: Hit and Run Accident Claims Have a Time Limit

Hit and run insurance claims are subject to West Virginia’s statute of limitations. Accident victims have two years to file their claim. Remember, procrastination can damage a claim, so victims should speak with a Clarksburg attorney as soon as possible following the accident.

#5: Victims Might Have to Foot the Bill

If insurance coverage for a hit and run accident does not cover all expenses, the victim likely will have to foot the bill. Victims should discuss their cases with an accident attorney to determine legal options and next steps.

Contact an Accident Attorney in Clarksburg

For help with a hit and run insurance claim, contact an attorney. Our legal team will facilitate your case and help you pursue the compensation you need. Contact The Miley Legal Group for a FREE consultation – (304) 931-4088.

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