Connecticut law clearly states that anyone involved in a car crash must stop their vehicle immediately. Sadly, hundreds of people each year speed away without so much as a word to accident victims. At Etemi Law, we regularly talk to people who have suffered injuries in a hit and run. These are frustrating accidents. In the typical car crash, both drivers should stop and swap insurance information. You then make a claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier. Because that driver has fled, you are left trying to pick up the pieces yourself. Please contact Etemi Law to speak with a car accident lawyer.
What to Do after a Hit and Run Accident
You are probably badly shaken after a collision. Still, there are some things you can do to improve the odds of finding the driver and obtaining compensation:
- Note key details about the car and driver. You might only see the car for a brief second in a flash or as it drives away. Mentally note the car’s color, make, license plate, or distinguishing features (like bumper stickers). Also note what the driver looks like, if you can see them.
- Pay attention to the direction the driver fled. Some people speed home after a hit and run, and the police can use this information to track them down.
- Report the accident to the police. Give them as much information as you have about the car and driver who struck you.
- Document the crash. You might be in too much pain to even leave your car. That’s okay. If you can move about, however, take pictures of your car’s location, any debris field, and things like that. You should also talk to any witnesses and request a method of contacting them.
- Go to the hospital for medical treatment. Don’t self-diagnose at home or delay getting to the hospital. Early treatment helps improve your ability to recover.
Will Insurance Cover My Hit and Run?
If the police find the driver, you can make a claim on their insurance for your damages—car repairs, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. But what happens if the police can’t find the driver?
Helpfully, you might use the following insurance:
- Collision coverage. This is optional insurance in Connecticut. It is no fault, and you can use it for repairs to your vehicle. Most people with a car loan should carry collision coverage as required by the lender.
- Health insurance. Injured motorists can use their health insurance to pay for medical care for injuries. You might have insurance as an employee benefit or purchase your own coverage.
- Medical payments coverage. This is also optional insurance. It pays for medical treatment for car injuries. Often, motorists use it to pay the deductible on their health insurance.
- Uninsured motorist insurance. Connecticut requires that drivers have uninsured motorist coverage, which kicks in for a hit and run. The policy limits should be the same as your liability coverage. Currently, the minimum is $25,000 per injured person, up to $50,000 per accident, but you might have more.
Sometimes, multiple policies will apply at the same time, and insurers might argue among themselves about who should pay you. Please consult our car accident lawyer for help determining which insurance to use.
Why Obtaining Compensation is a Challenge
Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, getting paid is complicated. Unlike collision and medical payments, uninsured motorist insurance is fault-based. That means you can’t receive compensation from this insurance if you were at fault.
Many drivers are shaken when their insurer points the finger at them and blames them for their own accident. For example, your insurer might argue you fell asleep and hit a tree or were intoxicated and rolled over into a ditch through nobody else’s fault but your own. They can deny payment if they believe you were responsible for the collision.
It helps to hire a lawyer. Our law firm can build a solid insurance claim to show that the fleeing motorist was at fault. The evidence we use can include witness testimony and physical evidence, like dents and paint smears on your car. We might also look for nearby surveillance video of the crash, which can show clearly that another motorist struck you.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers for Assistance
Hit and run accidents are infuriating. Nobody should flee a scene after striking another motorist, but people do it all the time. Get the legal help you need by calling Etemi Law today. Our consultations are free.