Hit and Run Accidents
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), one in seven drivers is uninsured! If you are on the road and someone hit you and just drove away, without bothering to stop and check on you, don’t panic. You may try to see if you can get the license plate number of the runaway vehicle and get the police to help you track it down. But in most hit and run cases, the drivers are uninsured anyway. Therefore we always strongly recommend our clients to get Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, usually including Uninsured motorist bodily injury and Uninsured motorist property damage for their auto insurance. This is a must-have especially if you live in California. Be sure to check with your insurance agent.
If you got injured in a hit and run accident, please feel free to call us. Here at Law Office of Tricia Wang, our experienced personal injury lawyer and staff can help you claim maximum compensation for the damages resulting from a hit and run accident, including your medical bills, lost wages, as well as your emotional distress, pain and suffering.
After you got into a hit and run accident, it is very important that you look for your auto insurance policy and bring us a copy of your policy or you may email or fax it to us if it is not convenient for you to come to our office. Our experienced injury lawyer and staff will review your policy coverage and explore every possible recourse on your behalf.
- If your insurance policy has collision coverage, or if you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage, then you can get your damaged vehicle repaired or get a total loss check from your insurance company. Note that your uninsured motorist property damage has a limit of $3,500. Therefore if your repair bill is over $3,500, then you may be better off to use your collision coverage if you have it. If you have both collision coverage and uninsured motorist property damage, your uninsured motorist property damage pays your collision deductible. It is called Collision deductible waiver.
- If you have medical payments coverage, then you can seek medical diagnosis and treatment using the medical payment under your auto insurance. Of course, you can also use your health insurance coverage such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser, Medicare, or Medi-Cal. We can advise you on how to use them in the most beneficial way for you.
- Your uninsured motorist policy covers not only injuries to you, your passenger (any occupant in your car), but also may cover all residents of your household, such as your spouse, child, parent, brother or sister who lives in your household. In another word, our experienced personal injury lawyer and staff can help you claim recovery under a UM policy for damages resulted from a hit and run accident, whether you are a driver, a passenger, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. For example, John is a resident of his parents’ household. His parents own a 2013 Toyota with Geico. One day John got a ride from his college friend’s Chevy - not having a valid insurance at the time, and got injured from a hit-and-run accident. John can file a UM claim with Geico under his parents’ automobile policy. For passengers in your vehicle, they are covered under your UM policy - they don’t need to be family members or relatives, and don’t have to live in your household.
It should be noted that for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to apply, insurance companies usually require the liable driver to be identified through vehicle license plate to verify that they are indeed uninsured, with the exception of hit and run situation.
In our practice, we often encounter injured clients who are reluctant to claim under their own automobile insurance policy, out of concern that their claim will make their insurance premium rate go up. This was a misunderstanding. Under California law, insurance carriers are only allowed to raise rates for an accident in which you were found to be at fault. You can rest assured that your insurance premium will not get increased because of your UM claim.
At Law Office of Tricia Wang in Fremont, California, our experienced and passionate personal injury lawyer and staff are ready to help you with your hit and run accident claims. If you are hurt and feel helpless, just give us call 510-791-0232! Consultation is FREE!