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Injured in a Hit and Run Accident in California?
Did someone hit you and take off? Never stopping to see if you were okay, or to exchange insurance information?
That’s a hit and run accident, where you don’t know the driver or the owner of the car that hit you. Sometimes they’ll hit you and run off right away. Sometimes they’ll pretend to stop and then take off once you put your car in park.
Occasionally you have a Good Samaritan who was able to get the person’s license plate number to report to the police. Unfortunately, there are times when you won’t have that information, and the driver gets away with his crime.
If someone hits me and runs, can I sue anyone?
If you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), the answer is yes. If you have UIM coverage, your insurance company steps into the role of having to pay for your injuries. Usually it’s the other driver’s insurance policy that covers this, however, in this situation, it’ll be your own insurance company paying. They have to pay for medical bills, lost wages, your pain and suffering, and everything else you are entitled to in this situation.
How do I know if I have UIM coverage?
There is a good chance you do. In California, insurance companies must offer you this coverage, up to a certain amount. So you most likely have some coverage, as long as you did not waive the coverage. It is a good idea to check to see if you have waived this coverage. Usually your insurance company will have documentation indicating your waiver.
What if they don’t pay me what I deserve to get?
This is the #1 reason I tell my clients not to talk to any adjuster if possible. This includes your own adjuster. You may think they are on your side, but they are also looking out for their own interests. They trick you into revealing information that can be used against you, if they need to. When do they need this information? When you file a UIM claim. That’s when they turn into an adversary, looking to pay you as little as they can.
What else do I need to know about Hit and Run accidents? Do I need a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer?
There is a lot of information, and pitfalls, when it comes to hit and run accidents and uninsured motorist claims. For example, in California you have to show that the other car actually touched your car. If they merely cut you off, which caused you to crash, but never touched your car, UIM might not be available.
If you suffered injuries in a hit and run accident, call our office to schedule a Free Consultation, where your questions will be answered, without any obligation or payment.