WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM THE VICTIM OF A HIT-AND-RUN?
Following a set of guidelines may help to properly navigate the aftermath of a hit-and-run. People should check auto insurance, understand the law, and report the accident.
Hit-and-run car accidents in Pennsylvania happen far too often. Drivers and pedestrians who are victims of hit-and-run car accidents are usually left feeling vulnerable and alone. The law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis has developed several guidelines which may help when you or a family member find yourself the victim of a hit-and-run accident. The following steps will help to deal with the consequential effects on your health, well-being and financial condition should you be involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Know the law
Pennsylvania state law requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in an injury to remain at the accident scene. These drivers have a legal responsibility to give information and even to render aid. The penalties associated with failing to fulfill this responsibility are severe, including felony charges, substantial fines and extended jail time.
Report the accident
Once a hit-and-run car accident has taken place, it is important to report the accident to the police and your insurance company immediately. If a hit-and-run accident is not reported to your insurance company and the police, within 30 days of an accident, you may lose your ability to make a claim through your personal uninsured motorist coverage. Victims can use a car accident report as evidence in a personal injury claim to prove they were injured.
Seek legal advice
Even when interacting with your own insurance company, it is critical to be guarded and vigilant about what is disclosed. The notion that your insurance company ought to be treated as an adversary, rather than a partner, might sound counterintuitive. However, understanding the insurer’s incentives clarifies why this is a necessary precaution. The more claims insurance companies pay out, the less profit they generate. Consequently, insurers can be expected to do all they can to limit, if not avoid, any payouts that are not legally required. Because of this, it is essential that you contact an attorney right away to discuss your legal options, and to learn how to best move forward with the hit-and-run accident, and your uninsured motorist claim.