Getting into a car accident is never fun. Even when no one has been hurt and all drivers are present to exchange insurance information and talk with law enforcement, dealing with a car accident is a major headache. When one driver decides to flee the scene, however, recovering your losses can become exponentially more difficult. A Chicago car accident attorney can help drivers to educate themselves so that the process of recovering from a hit and run accident runs as smoothly as possible.
Hit and run accidents follow a few disturbing trends. According to the American Automobile Association, approximately 11 percent of car accidents are classified as hit and runs. That’s more than one out of ten. What’s more, when a driver flees the scene, the cost of repairs and medical bills often falls on the shoulders of the other driver, even if that driver did nothing wrong. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to avoid getting stuck with a mountain of bills due to another person’s error.
Uninsured motorist coverage will protect you even if you don’t know the identity of the person who hit you. Many states require a certain level of this type of coverage, and you can always purchase additional coverage if you want more than the minimum amount. UIM acts as your primary source of funding in the event of a hit and run accident as it will cover the cost of both medical expenses and vehicular damages.
If you are involved in a hit and run accident, make sure to contact the police and your insurance company within a reasonable amount of time in order to take advantage of your UIM coverage. Your insurance will require that you provide proof of physical contact by another vehicle, so try to secure a witness to the accident who isn’t the driver or the owner of your vehicle.
Although personal injury protection coverage can’t be used to recoup the costs of damages to your vehicle, it can be used to pay for medical expenses and lost wages for anyone involved in a car accident. Keep in mind, however, that making a claim against your own PIP coverage can increase your insurance premium. States following a no-fault insurance system require a certain level of PIP coverage for every driver, but even if your state is not no-fault, you can purchase PIP coverage as an optional add-on to your existing insurance policy.
If you’re involved in a hit and run but don’t have either uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection coverage, you may still make a claim against your own collision coverage. Such a claim may cover the cost of damage to your vehicle, but would not cover any medical expenses. In addition, your insurance premium would likely increase.
Car accidents are never fun, but if you have the unfortunate bad luck of being involved in a hit and run, having the proper insurance coverage can help alleviate the financial burden of medical bills and vehicle repairs. Contact your insurance company to find out more about what your current policy covers, and if adding additional coverage is right for you. If you need legal advice or have been involved in a hit and run, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer or personal injury attorney from the Disparti Law Group right away.