Don’t Let a Hit and Run Car Accident Derail Your Life
When you’re on the road, you are careful and you expect others to be careful too. Unfortunately, sometimes other people are negligent and you end up getting hurt as a result. What’s worse, is when these same individuals refuse to take responsibility for their actions and leave the scene of the accident.
If you were in a hit and run accident, you’re likely experiencing a range of emotions. Fear, shock, and anger are not uncommon. You’re likely afraid that you won’t be compensated for your injuries or property damage. You’re likely in shock after the violent accident. Moreover, you’re likely angry that the individual who caused the accident drove off the scene in order to avoid responsibility for it. You’re not out of options.
Fielding Law Group helps those who have been injured in traffic accidents recover damages from the incident. In this article, we’ll go over your options for recovering damages in a hit and run accident. To learn more, contact us today.
We Can Help When Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Want To
For this reason, many people carry uninsured motorist coverage. This is supposed to cover you when someone without insurance causes an accident. Unfortunately, some insurance companies try to avoid paying after an accident occurs, even when the client has this coverage. This isn’t right and we can get you that compensation you deserve.
Understanding Hit and Run Accidents
Traffic accidents shouldn’t be major ordeals. If two people get into an accident, they exchange insurance information and contact their insurance companies. The individual who is at fault for the accident has their insurance company compensate the injured driver. When people leave the scene of an accident, it is generally because one of two things are true. Either they are driving without a license or car insurance or they are drunk at the time of the accident. For that reason, the criminal penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are harsh.
The question then becomes: How does law enforcement catch up with them? Typically, the best way that they will be able to do that is through the use of video surveillance at the time of the accident. Information gleaned from witnesses, including you, can be useful as well.
It bears noting that hit-and-run accidents aren’t as uncommon as you might think. In fact, they make up about 11% of all traffic accidents. The most recent data suggests that hit-and-run accidents are occurring more frequently than ever. In 2016, over 2000 Americans died in hit-and-run accidents accounting for a 60% increase from 2009. On average, there are nearly 700,000 hit-and-run accidents every year since 2006.
What Happens If the Driver Cannot Be Identified?
The State of Washington forces insurance companies to offer their policyholders Uninsured or Underinsured Auto Insurance. Drivers can opt out of paying for this insurance by signing a form online, but they have to explicitly reject the offer. If you’ve rejected the offer and police or your attorneys fail to hunt down the culprit, you’re out of options. You won’t receive any compensation for your financial losses.
If, however, you have opted in and elected to pay for the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance, you have the option of making a claim against your own policy.
What Happens When I Make a Claim Against My UIM Policy?
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance is sort of like no-fault insurance policies. Instead of making a claim against another driver’s policy, you go to your own insurance company to either cover the difference between your expenses and your damages or it pays out in the event that the driver either doesn’t have insurance or left the scene of the accident and cannot be found.
The insurance company will then review your claim.
Insurance Companies Aren’t Fans of UIM Policies
Insurance companies don’t like being forced to offer drivers UIM policies. That’s actually why you need to force them to do so. When a claim goes before an insurance adjuster, their job is to do anything in their power to devalue or reject the claim. In the event that the driver is caught, your insurance company would not have to pay out anything. Additionally, even if that driver did not have insurance, you would be able to sue them against their assets (if they had any). Insurance companies feel as though covering these sorts of claims puts them in the position of footing the bill for another’s negligence.
On that point, they may be right. Nonetheless, those who pay into this policy deserve to be compensated when it kicks in. That means being compensated for the full extent of your injuries including pain and suffering, lost time from work, and more.
Negotiating With an Insurance Company When Making a Claim on UIM Policy
If you are paying for UIM insurance, you can manage smaller claims yourself. For those with serious injuries, it is best to enlist the aid of an attorney because the stakes tend to be much higher. Generally, the first offer that an insurance company makes to you will be a lowball offer. In some instances, insurance adjusters use complex software which gives the illusion of objectivity but depends heavily on what fields or data the insurance adjuster fed into the software. If they use this kind of software, which is likely, you have a right to request the data. This will form the basis of your rebuttal.
It’s important also to emphasize emotional points. That’s precisely what your lawyer will do. We will discuss your pain and suffering in real-world terms and back that up with data from your doctor. In cases where you require extended periods of rehab, you may need to miss time from work. You deserve to be compensated for lost wages.
Your Hit and Run Accident Shouldn’t Stop You From Moving Forward
If you’ve sustained injuries, you may need a qualified car accident attorney who can go after both the person who injured you and, if necessary, the insurance company that is supposed to pay you. We are accident attorneys specialized in helping our clients put their lives back together. Need a hit and run lawyer in Washington or Idaho? Call today and schedule a free consultation. Let us help you get back on the road to recovery.
The attorneys at Fielding Law Group have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages across a number of different personal injury cases. When the insurance company is giving you a hard time and refuses to honor your claim to the extent that you deserve, our attorneys will step in and build your case to be trial ready. Since jury trials represent an added expense to insurance companies, they will generally settle for the policy limit. If they don’t, we can take your case to trial and win.
Let Us Help You
At Fielding Law Group, we will start working on your case today for FREE! If we don’t win a settlement, you won’t pay a dime. Our team of attorneys and legal professionals are waiting to help you. The sooner we start working on your case, the quicker we can get you the settlement you deserve.