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4 FAQs About Hit and Run Car Accident Claims

October 16, 2019

by Donaldson & Weston

personal injury lawyer

If you were hurt in a car accident through no fault of your own, you have the right to file a third-party claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurer. If he or she fled the scene, though, you may be wondering how to pursue compensation for the healthcare bills, lost income, and other damages you incur.

Since building a strong personal injury claim following a hit and run poses certain challenges, it’s natural to have a lot of questions about the process. Every case is unique, so it’s important that you consult a car accident attorney to get advice about your particular situation.

Below are the answers to a few general questions about hit-and-run accidents:

How do I Identify a Hit-and-Run Driver?

If you can identify the at-fault driver, you can file a claim with his or her insurance provider, which may be the simplest way to recover the compensation you deserve. Naturally, the circumstances of the incident will ultimately determine whether police (or your attorney) are able to track down the liable motorist.

Evidence that might help with the investigation includes:

  • Eyewitness testimony;
  • Dash cam footage or surveillance recordings;
  • Photographs of the wreckage; and
  • Statements from local auto body repair shops.

What if I Cannot Identify the At-Fault Driver?

Unfortunately, some hit-and-run accidents do not leave enough evidence for the victims to identify the at-fault driver. In this situation, you may be able to pursue compensation for bodily injuries by filing a claim with your own insurance provider. If you have collision coverage, it should kick in to cover any property damage your vehicle sustained up to your policy limits.

How can I Strengthen my Claim?

Building a strong claim following a hit-and-run accident starts at the scene. You should not attempt to follow the motorist because you could be charged with fleeing the scene—or worse—but there are other steps you can take in the immediate aftermath.

These include:

  • Calling the police;
  • Writing down everything you can remember about the vehicle including its make, model, color, and license plate number;
  • Photographing the scene from all angles;
  • Photographing both the interior and exterior of your own vehicle and documenting the damage it sustained; and
  • Obtaining the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses.

How Long Will it Take to Resolve my Case?

Resolving claims involving hit-and-run accidents tends to take longer than resolving those involving other kinds of collisions because finding the at-fault motorist may require an extensive investigation. Other factors that can influence the total duration of the proceedings include:

  • The severity of your injuries;
  • How long it takes to reach maximum medical improvement;
  • The strength of any evidence of liability and damages;
  • The insurance adjuster’s willingness to cooperate; and
  • Whether your case goes to court.