WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
For over 30 years, MCIS LAWYERS has handled many hit and run cases. This guide discusses what to do if you are injured by a hit and run driver and the requirements that must be met to obtain compensation under your uninsured motorist coverage.
IMMEDIATE STEPS AFTER A HIT AND RUN-Take photographs of your vehicle
-Obtain a repair estimate for your vehicle
-Notify the police or appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours of the accident
-Notify your insurance company immediately and be prepared to provide a statement under oath as to what happened
WHAT THE LAW REQUIRESIt is up to you to prove that your vehicle was hit by a hit and run driver. California law requires that you report the accident within 24 hours to the policy department of the city where the accident occurred. The law further requires that you file with your insurance company within 30 days a statement under oath. Your insurance company will provide you with the proper format for the statement.
WHAT YOU MUST PROVE TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION FROM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANYThe purpose of making a claim is to receive compensation under your uninsured motorist coverage. You should confirm with your insurance company how much coverage you have. To prevail on your claim you will need to prove that the person who harmed you is unknown. That proof usually comes from you. Most important, you must prove that there was "physical contact" between your vehicle and the hit and run vehicle, which is why taking photographs and reporting the accident to law enforcement is necessary to establish the credibility of your claim. You also need to report the accident to your insurance company and provide a statement under oath so the company can immediately take steps to locate the hit and run driver if possible.
YOUR COMPENSATIONThe whole point in having uninsured motorist coverage is to receive compensation for your injuries in the event an uninsured motorist, such as a hit and run driver, hits your car and injures you. If you are injured, you should seek immediate medical care. Any delay will be used by the insurance company against you. An insurance company is required to pay the reasonable cost of medical care that was reasonably necessary in treating your injuries.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY WON'T FAIRLY COMPENSATE YOUIn the event your insurance company does not fairly compensate you, you can demand arbitration. Arbitration is a formal proceeding similar to a trial. It is held in front of an experienced lawyer or retired judge. You present your case for compensation and then the insurance company presents its case trying to show why it does not owe you the compensation you seek. The arbitrator will make the decision, which is binding on both sides.
DO YOU NEED A LAWYER TO HANDLE A HIT AND RUN CASEAlthough a lawyer is not required, it is advisable to have one so that he or she can present your case effectively to maximize your recovery. When selecting a lawyer, you should select one with considerable arbitration experience.