Hit and Run Car Accidents
Hit and run cases can be very challenging. If the person who struck you fled the scene, there is a chance they may not have car insurance, which is why they fled. If you are involved in a car accident where you cannot locate the driver, the term for this is called a phantom driver or a phantom car. Insurance companies often contest these cases.
There is, however, a remedy available to you if you have been the victim of a hit-and-run, and that is in the form of what is called UIM coverage, or Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This kind of insurance coverage is purchased when you, the owner of the car, purchase insurance. Many people do not know this kind of insurance even exists.
If you are involved in a hit and run, the first thing you should do is call the police. The second thing you should do, after you tend to your injuries and seek medical care, is call your insurance company to verify you do in fact have UIM coverage. If the driver who hit you cannot be found, then you should make a claim through your UIM coverage. These cases are challenging because your own insurance company can be adversarial towards you, but at least there is a source of recovery for you.Washington State Hit and Run Laws
In Washington State, if you are involved in a car accident the drivers of the cars involved have a duty to pull off to the side of the road, where it is safe and free from creating a collision with another driver, and exchange the following with the other driver:
- Driver’s license name and number
- License plate number
- Insurance information, including the name of the car insurance company and the policy number
It is also advisable to call the police. The police can fill out an accident report and issue a traffic citation, if necessary. However, in a hit-and-run car accident, many times the driver flees the scene. In this situation, it is crucial to call the police and have the police come to the scene, take a statement from you, and do an investigation. This can be important, if not crucial, to the outcome of your case because you will need to be able to prove that there was in fact a hit and run, which is also known as a phantom vehicle, that caused the accident. Without this information, your UIM claim be in danger.Common Hit and Run Injuries
If you have been involved in a hit and run car accident, your injuries are likely very severe and could even be life-threatening. You should seek immediate medical attention to address your injuries. Common injuries from hit and run car accidents are:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Shoulder injuries
These injuries may be treated by a chiropractor, medical doctor, or some specialty of medical doctor such as an orthopedic doctor or an osteopath.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident, having an experienced attorney is crucial in helping you recover money for your injuries. Oftentimes the driver who hit you does not have car insurance, or simply cannot be found. Thus, your only remedy is to hire a lawyer to make a claim against your own car insurance company.
In this situation, even though you are making a claim against your own car insurance company, you still have to prove your case. This means that you have to prove you were in fact injured by a driver who breached their duty to drive safely. In many instances, this is not as easy as it may appear and you need an experienced and dedicated advocate to help you. The Jackman Law Firm is here for you if you need help.