If someone hits your car and drives away, this is known as a hit and run car accident, and several things may happen.
First, if you are fortunate enough to capture information to identify the vehicle, such as the make and model or license plate number, you have a higher chance of holding the at-fault driver responsible for their actions.
If you are not able to get the license plate number but you have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, your insurance may cover the expenses related to the accident.
If the accident was not your fault and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may not be able to file a claim with your insurance company, depending on the specifics of your policy’s coverage. In many cases, you cannot file a claim with your own insurance if you were not at fault.
Drivers Must Remain Present at an Accident Scene and File a Report
What happens if someone hits your car and drives away will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
After a car accident, all parties are legally responsible for:
- Moving their vehicles to safety
- Staying on the scene
- Contacting emergency medical professionals
- Alerting the police
- Exchanging identification information
As stated by the Ohio Revised Code § 4549.01, violation of this law may result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances of the accident and if injuries or death occurred.
To leave the scene of an accident is a crime, and it can result in hefty fines, license suspension, and incarceration. Therefore, if you were in an accident with a negligent driver who hit your car and drove away, various circumstances may apply to your situation.
If you were able to remember the license plate number, you may be able to hold the driver accountable for the accident and file a claim with their insurance company. If not, your insurance might cover the costs, expenses, and damages resulting from the accident.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
Collision and Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
Car insurance is a necessity for ensuring you do not have to pay much money out of pocket in the event of an accident. Damages to vehicles can cost thousands of dollars, which is why many vehicle owners choose to have auto insurance. Yet, there are different levels and types of protection that cover accidents.
Here is a look at specific insurance coverage types, and what they generally cover in the event of an accident:
- Basic Vehicle Insurance Coverage: According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the most basic car insurance coverage will include bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage takes care of costs for damage to your vehicle regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Your deductible will generally apply to accidents handled by collision coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage will extend to covering bodily injury and vehicle damage if you are in a hit and run accident and cannot collect any information on the driver who fled the scene. If the driver of the vehicle drives away, they typically become “effectively uninsured.”
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Underinsured coverage reassures you of insurance coverage if the at-fault driver’s liability coverage levels are not adequate to cover your losses and damages entirely.
Let a Car Accident Lawyer Work on Your Case
If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by another driver and they fled the scene, you may wish to discuss your case with a law firm representative. Whether you were able to gather identification information on the driver who hit your vehicle or not, legal guidance may be helpful to understand your case more clearly and determine what kind of action you may be able to pursue. If you decide to file a personal injury claim against the other driver or through your own insurance policy, your attorney may be able to help make the process more manageable.
Additionally, a lawyer can offer a variety of benefits that help with your case, such as:
- Saving you time from having to handle the legal aspects of your case on your own
- Working with you on a contingency fee basis, which ensures you pay no attorney’s fees upfront, and only pay those fees if you get awarded a settlement
- Negotiating with the insurance company to ensure you are treated fairly
To learn more about the potential of your hit and run accident case, you can call our team at Bressman Law. Contact our offices today at (614) 538-1116 to speak to one of our team members.