A “hit-and-run” accident is when someone leaves the scene of an accident that s/he was involved in. These accidents typically involve two (or more) vehicles or a pedestrian or cyclist and a vehicle. If the responsible party for the accident flees the scene, and is not caught, the injured party can still recover compensation for injuries, damages, pain and suffering, lost wages or death of a loved one caused by the accident.
It is important to note that if you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, you should remain on the scene until law enforcement arrives and you can give a full statement. Take notes and pictures of the scene and write down everything you can recall about the accident and any description of the other vehicle. Do not try to chase the perpetrator down. There is a chance that other people may have witnessed the accident and can provide information to law enforcement to catch the perpetrator. If the perpetrator is caught and identified, civil charges can be pursued. Having representation by a hit-and-run attorney will help you get the compensation that you need to move forward with your life.
If the perpetrator is not found, you may be able to submit a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage.
About Uninsured Motorist Coverage
About 85% of California auto insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage. This means that if you are in an accident that is not your fault – whether it is a hit-and-run or a driver who is not insured or does not carry enough insurance coverage – your auto insurance company will cover your losses, damage, and medical bills dependent upon the amount of coverage you have.
However, there are cases when people are surprised to find that they do not have full coverage and the minimum coverage is not sufficient. If this is the case, having a personal injury attorney on your side will help you get fair and just compensation from your insurance company by using one or more of the following tactics.
- Assembling evidence to prove that you were a victim of a hit-and-run accident including evidence of injuries – how severe they are and if they are going to affect your life permanently.
- Holding the insurance company accountable by making sure they are being transparent in their communications and not using difficult or deceptive tactics to confuse the victim and give less than what the person is entitled to.
- Calculating damages accurately for your claim including quantifying your damages and asking for enough money to make sure you will be covered for medical fees, medical devices, future treatments, and, if applicable, pain and suffering and lost income.
- Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement. Attorneys are familiar with the tricks that insurance companies use during these negotiations that can trap an unsuspecting victim to settle for less.
- If the insurance company and attorney cannot come to a settlement, the attorney can take the case to trial on your behalf to fight for you.
At Rodriguez & Associates, our Bakersfield hit-and-run accident attorneys are committed to making the responsible party pay so you can focus on getting back on your feet.
If you or a loved one was involved in a hit-and-run accident, contact us at (661) 323-1400 or toll-free (800) 585-9262 to schedule a no-charge consultation.