How Do I Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run?
Ohio law requires every driver to carry insurance in case of a car accident, but experts estimate that 1 out of every 8 drivers chooses to disregard that law. Then, there are the drivers who flee the scene after a car accident, leaving behind injured or even dead victims. People like these can put innocent drivers and victims in a tough spot. Having a car accident is disorienting enough without having to worry about how you can pay the bills to repair your car and get the medical attention you need. Our team at Williams DeClark Tuschman is here to help you plan your next steps after a collision with a hit-and-run driver.
What to Do After Being Hit
Even if the driver who caused the collision leaves the scene, you may be able to get enough identifying information for police to track them down. If you’re able to, record:
- The car make and model
- The car color
- The license plate number
- The direction the car was traveling/continued to travel
- When and where the accident happened
- What happened
Make note of everything as quickly as possible after the accident, because the longer you wait, the more you may forget. Then, make a police report with as much detail as possible. Any and all information you provide may help law enforcement officials track down the suspect. You should also take the steps you would at any car accident: Make note of any injuries caused by the collision, and take video or photo of the damage to your car. If there are witnesses, they may be able to help with identifying the driver or provide valuable testimony should your suit for compensation go to trial. Then, seek medical care so your doctor can help spot other injuries and provide full documentation of your condition.
Serious Injury or Death
In worst-case scenarios, the victim of a hit-and-run may not be able to gather any information about the accident because they are too severely disabled or were killed upon impact. It’s virtually impossible to find the at-fault driver if no one witnessed the crash. The only option in this scenario is to hope that the driver will turn themself in…and that’s not very likely. Unfortunately, this situation usually precedes either a long and expensive recovery process, or the pain and difficulty of having a funeral for a loved one. Were the at-fault driver found, their insurance would cover medical- or death-related expenses. But if you don’t even know who they were it can be hard to know what to do next.
Will My Insurance Pay?
Uninsured motorists coverage was made exactly for situations like hit-and-runs. That said, your insurer might fight back because they don’t want to pay for extensive damages and injuries caused by someone else. At the end of the day, they’re just looking out for themselves—so you shouldn’t accept what they say as the unvarnished truth. Instead, get a lawyer on your side so you have someone to advocate as hard as they do. Though we pay them to protect us in times of hardship, insurance companies don’t always want to hold up their end of the deal. They may deny or delay claims or operate under incomprehensible contracts that make it hard for you to understand exactly what they owe you and how you can get it. Our experienced team at Williams DeClark Tuschman has seen it all and helped clients recover the compensation they’re entitled to under their insurance. Reach out to our team online or call (419) 318-0772 if you need someone to fight for you after a car accident.