What to expect when filing a claim for a hit-and-run accident

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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One of the worst accidents to become involved in, in California, is a hit-and-run. It is especially terrible for pedestrians and cyclists who have less protection and may be left to die from the injuries they sustain. Some people may think hit-and-run accidents are not very common, but they are wrong.

According to ABC News, a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that hit-and-runs are actually at an all-time high. There has been a 62% increase in hit-and-run accidents in 2016 compared to 2009. Note also that of the fatal hit-and-run cases, 65% were cyclists or pedestrians. Hit-and-run accidents accounted for 20% of pedestrian fatalities and 1% of driver fatalities.

Esurance defines a hit-and-run accident as one where the driver knowingly refuses to stop and provide information after causing an accident. When victims file insurance claims, uninsured motorist coverage may act as the at-fault insurance in some states. The uninsured motorist property damage coverage may take care of damage to the vehicle, while uninsured motorist bodily harm coverage may take care of medical bills.

While many drivers often feel tempted to chase the car responsible for the hit-and-run, it may be better to pull over and ensure everyone is okay. They should then make note of any details they remember, including the following:

  •          Direction the driver fled in
  •          Make and model of the car
  •          Partial or full license plate
  •          Descriptions of the driver
  •          Any eyewitness accounts
  •          Time and location

Note that there are some states that do not allow uninsured motorist coverage to pay for hit-and-run collisions. California is one of them. Esurance states that collision coverage may be used instead in these states.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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