Being injured in a car accident is traumatic. Being injured by a hit and run driver compounds the stress. As you are accumulating medical bills and losing wages, you likely have no idea how you will pay for your expenses. At Springer & Lyle, we know what to do. We have experience helping clients who have been in car accidents by hit and run drivers and can help you understand your rights. First, if you have health insurance, make sure you provide that information to all of your health care providers.
Hit and Run Drivers and Car Insurance
A comprehensive study conducted by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) found that every 43 seconds, there is a hit and run accident somewhere in the country. This includes drivers who hit pedestrians in addition to those that are in car accidents.
In Texas, while it is mandatory for all drivers to have automobile liability insurance, there is still about 14% of the driving population that goes without it. Texas insurance policies also require coverage for “uninsured motorist benefits” which will be in your policy automatically unless you rejected that coverage in writing when you bought the policy.
The good news is that uninsured motorist coverage will cover those in car accidents with a hit and run driver. And, if you are a pedestrian who was hit by a hit and run driver, you are covered for that as well. You must report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible and make sure you get a police report even though the other driver left the scene.
The company will investigate and search for the driver, but meanwhile, your medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to your car will be covered even if the driver is never found. The coverage you have from your uninsured motorist policy will be in the same limits of your liability insurance unless you reduce the amount of coverage or waive it altogether.
There Must Have Been Contact with Your Car
There is one requirement for your uninsured motorist coverage to apply. There must have been actual physical contact with the hit and run driver’s vehicle. If the car has contact with yours, or you if you were walking or riding a bike, then you can collect from your own policy.
If the other driver sped by you, cut you off and forced you off the highway and into a ditch, but did not touch your car or you, then you are out of luck. Your uninsured motorist coverage will not cover you for this type of accident since technically, there was no “hit and run.” You need to report this accident to the police who may work to locate the driver. If located, you can proceed with a liability claim against the driver due to their negligence.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.