In case being involved in a car accident wasn’t bad enough, the other driver fled the scene. You have no contact or insurance information for them, and the police seem to have hit a dead end. Now what?
If your car is damaged or totaled, you need repairs or a replacement— but who pays after a hit and run? Learn more about options with your own insurance and find out how a lawyer can help.
Taking the proper steps after a car accident can help you document damage and get total compensation for damage to your car. If someone is injured, take note of the injury and report the accident to emergency services so they can send a police officer or ambulance if necessary.
Prompt police response makes it easier to track down the liable party. File a police report and seek out information on the negligent driver. You’ll also want to document the damage to your vehicle through pictures and video. You can contact your insurance provider and work on the next steps.
Unfortunately, you cannot seek compensation from a driver who fled the scene and hasn’t been caught. Luckily, certain types of car insurance will cover your damages.
Your insurance company won’t always cover vehicle damage caused by an accident. This is especially true in a hit and run when they cannot seek damages from the other party’s insurance provider.
Some people only carry liability coverage to save money on their insurance bills. Liability insurance covers other people’s property damage and bodily injuries after an accident you cause.
However, it does not pay for damage to your own vehicle or your own injuries. If you only have liability coverage, you may pay for vehicle repairs out of pocket.
If you want to be protected after a hit and run, having the correct type of insurance matters. Consider adding these to your policy or discussing these options with your insurance agent:
Collision coverage pays for you to repair or replace your vehicle after a car accident, even if you are at fault for the crash. This is ideal in a hit-and-run scenario, as you do not have to worry about proving liability right away just to get your car fixed.
Note that collision coverage does have a deductible, and you’ll need to pay that before your claim is covered. If the liable driver is eventually found and has insurance, your company may be able to recover compensation from them.
While this type of insurance will not pay for damage to your vehicle, it may pay for medical expenses you incur due to an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
UMPD can be very useful after a hit and run accident, as it pays for some or all of your repairs after an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Unfortunately, it is not available in Alabama.
Although Alabama does not have personal injury protection coverage, it does have MedPay, which can be used for medical expenses after an accident.
You may also wonder about your insurance rates. Any time you make a claim against your policy, you risk a rate increase. Your risk is greater if you have made multiple claims.
Some insurance companies make it difficult to get the coverage you’ve already paid for, making consumers think they must pay for accidents out of pocket. After a hit-and-run accident, it’s time to talk to an attorney.
At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we understand that a car accident can leave you with significant property damage and financial stress. We’re here to help you pursue compensation from the liable party or your own insurance company.