What Is A Hit and Run Auto Accident?
Hit and run car accidents are usually defined as, an accident where one of the parties to the accident has “hit” you and fled the scene of the accident. Usually, there must be contact with a vehicle, pedestrian, or other object. Almost all auto insurance policies require “contact”. If there is no “contact” there is no claim for “hit and run” benefits. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety a hit and run accident happens every minute in the U.S. In Michigan, it is illegal to flee the scene of an auto accident.
If the hit and run accident involves property or vehicle damage you can be charged with a misdemeanor. Your punishment can be 90 days in jail, up to $100 in fines, and your driver's license can be suspended. See MCLA 257.618.
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you have contractual responsibilities with your auto insurance company. When you purchase auto insurance you basically have an insurance contract with your insurance company, which most people don’t read. The contract has terms and conditions that you must comply with to preserve your rights under the policy. Our lawyers at the Joseph Dedvukaj Firm specialize in hit and run uninsured motorist coverage claims.
What If I am Injured In A Car Accident With A Hit and Run Driver?
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you have two contractual responsibilities to preserve your claim with the auto insurance company. The insurance company requires you to report the hit and run accident to the police within 24 hours. You have to also report the hit and run accident to your car insurance company immediately, usually within 30 days. If you don’t report the hit and run accident to the police and your auto insurance company as required in the policy, you could lose your right to uninsured motorist benefits.
By reporting the hit and run accident to the police, the police can try to find the hit and run driver responsible. If the hit and run driver cannot be identified, you can still make a no-fault insurance claim to have your medical expenses, wage loss, household services and attendant care paid by your no fault insurance. If you don’t have any insurance you may still qualify for PIP no fault coverage through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, unless you owned the uninsured vehicle involved in the accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can claim pain and suffering and excess economic damages from your own insurance company.
Given the frequency of hit and run accidents, you must purchase uninsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family members. You should buy at least $250,000 in uninsured motorist coverage.
What Should I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
You have an obligation to immediately report the hit and run accident to the police and your insurance company. Your failure to report the accident to the police or delay more than 24 hours could cost you your rights to uninsured motorist benefits.
Should I Seek Medical Attention After A Hit and Run Accident?
If you are injured in a hit and run accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Usually, if you call 911, the police and ambulance will be dispatched to the scene. You will give the police the details about what happened. If you are in danger of getting git by other vehicles, you should clear the intersection, if possible, so you don’t get hit by other vehicles.
What if the hit and run vehicle cannot be identified?
After you have called the police, if you are able to write, make a note of what the vehicle looked like so you can give the police and the auto insurance company the details. A license plate number is most beneficial to identify the hit and run vehicle. However, in most cases the hit and run driver leaves the scene too quickly to be able to write down the license plate. You should write down as information as you can about the hit and run car and driver. You should also take down the names, address, and telephone number of any witnesses.
After A Hit and Run Accident When Should I Call the police?
You should call 911 at the scene of the accident if you are able. If someone is injured in the hit and run accident, you should report the hit and run crash and injuries to the police and request an ambulance. Even if nobody is injured you should still report the accident to the police to comply with your auto insurance policy obligations. Do not wait because the auto insurance may deny coverage. Your insurance company usually requires a police report before you can start a claim. In addition, the police are more likely to find the hit and run driver when the matter is fresh.
When Should I Contact My Insurance Company After A Hit and Run Accident?
You will need to contact the police immediately after the hit and run accident or within 24 hours. After you have reported the hit and run accident to the police, sought medical help, then you can contact your auto insurance to make a claim. If you call police right away, your memory of the accident will be better. You should try to file an insurance claim with the assistance of a hit and run auto accident lawyer so you can properly follow the terms and conditions of your auto insurance policy. The policy may require specific information in a written notice and request for uninsured benefits. Usually, the car insurance policy will require that you make an uninsured motorist claim within 30 days. Do not delay contact a hit and run personal injury lawyer to preserve your rights to uninsured motorist benefits.
What Auto Insurance Coverage Applies After a Hit-and-Run?
Your insurance policy will provide the bases for a hit-and-run claim if you were smart enough to buy uninsured motorist coverage. You should have collision coverage and unlimited PIP medical coverage to protect you in this situation. Your collision coverage should cover damage to your vehicle.
In Michigan, your personal protection insurance coverage should pay your medical bills, housekeeping benefits, wage loss, and attendant care benefits. How your uninsured motorist policy is written varies by insurer. In Michigan, uninsured motorist coverage is not required by law. If the at-fault driver flees the scene of the injury accident or is later identified to be uninsured, you may be on the hook to pay your own damages, if you did not purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
One of the motives for a hit and run driver to flee the scene of a personal injury accident is the lack of insurance. Your uninsured motorist coverage can also cover economic losses not covered by other coverages in your policy e.g., excess wage loss or medical bills not covered by PIP coverage. You need to have your policy reviewed by a hit and run uninsured motorist specialist at our law firm.
BEST MICHIGAN UNINSURED MOTORIST ACCIDENT LAWYERS
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a hit and run crash, contact The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, preeminent Michigan expert hit and run accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
Call us now for a free confidential consultation at 248-352-2110 or Toll Free at 866-447-3563.