Who Pays for Damage in a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run is a crash where the at-fault driver flees the scene. Usually, a driver’s insurance company covers the damages they cause. But when a hit-and-run happens, who pays for the damage?
Insurance Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents
If another driver hits your car and intentionally flees, you have options. Your auto insurance company might help cover the costs. Here’s how.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Any information you have about the other driver helps. If you know enough, you might be able to identify them. Then, you might be able to file a claim with their insurance company. But if you can’t find the at-fault driver, uninsured motorist coverage is your best bet.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage for accidents where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. However, it also covers accidents where the at-fault driver is unknown.
- You will file a claim with your own insurance company for UM/UIM coverage.
- Your insurer will limit the coverage to how much UM/UIM insurance you bought.
Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), insurance companies have to offer you UM/UIM coverage. You must tell them in writing if you don’t want it. So, you probably have it.
Settling a claim with your insurer should be more comfortable. But even your insurer might look for ways to lower what they pay. If you cannot get the coverage you deserve, you might need to sue your insurer.
If you run into problems with your insurance after a hit-and-run, contact a lawyer. An experienced hit-and-run lawyer can fight for your rights. We can get you a FREE consultation to learn more. Call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Although Texas is a fault state, personal injury protection (PIP) is no-fault coverage. PIP pays for your medical bills and 80% of your lost wages after an accident. It does not matter who was at fault.
If another driver hits and runs, PIP can help cover your damages. According to Texas Insurance Code Section 1952.152, all Texas auto policies include PIP. You must tell your insurer in writing if you don’t want it.
Texas PIP coverage should provide at least $2,500 per person. PIP coverage will not cover non-economic losses like pain and suffering. You will need to seek these damages through uninsured motorist coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage is also known as Med-Pay. Med-Pay coverage is no-fault like PIP, but it only covers medical bills.
Your insurance company has a right to subrogation for Med-Pay coverage. That means your insurer can seek reimbursement if you file a claim with a third-party driver. Ultimately, Med-Pay can leave you with less recovery compared to PIP coverage.
Collision coverage handles vehicle damage from an accident. After a hit-and-run, you can file a claim with your insurer to cover repairs to your car. Collision coverage does not help with medical bills.
You will have to pay a deductible to access your collision coverage. If you find out who caused your accident, you might be able to recover the deductible cost from the driver. But this is usually not an option for hit-and-run crashes.
All auto insurance policies include liability insurance. Liability insurance covers the other driver’s damages if you cause an accident. You won’t be able to use your liability insurance if someone else caused your hit-and-run.
Besides the other forms of coverage listed above, you also hopefully have health insurance. Your health insurance might be able to cover some of your medical bills from the accident.
How to Help Your Case After a Hit-and-Run
A hit-and-run accident can be devastating. In a fault state like Texas, you usually rely on the at-fault driver. Their insurance company should cover your damages. But a hit-and-run is different.
Thankfully, you still have options. Here are some actions you can take to protect your rights.
Stop and Observe
After the accident, try to keep your bearings. Note anything you can remember about the at-fault driver:
- What was their vehicle’s color, make, and model?
- Did they have any identifying features?
- Did you see their license plate number?
Anything you can remember might help your case. If other people stop to help you, ask what they saw. Eyewitnesses might be able to help identify the driver. At the very least, they can confirm the accident was a hit-and-run.
Get Medical Treatment
If your injuries are severe or life-threatening, call for an ambulance. Don’t wait to get medical attention. You will need evidence of your injuries.
Report the Accident
Even if you can’t find the other driver anywhere, call the police. Report the accident, and make sure the police create an accident report. Tell them that the at-fault driver hit you and fled.
Give the police any information you can about the other driver. They might be able to help you find them.
Call Your Insurance Company
You will need to let your insurance company know that you were in an accident. They will also need to know that it was a hit-and-run and that you were the victim.
Contact a Hit-and-Run Lawyer
Call a trusted hit-and-run lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. They can help you contact your insurance company. Your lawyer can also help:
- Gather information about the accident
- Look for the driver who hit and ran
- Determine your full damages
- Make sure your insurer treats you fairly
You should be able to trust your insurer, but that’s not always the case. Your insurer still cares most about their bottom line. Your lawyer can make sure you pursue the fullest compensation possible after a hit-and-run.
Speak with a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Our Dallas car accident lawyers have been helping hit-and-run victims for many years. We know how to protect your rights. Plus, we do not charge a fee unless we win you money.
No matter where your crash happened, we can match you with the best lawyer for your needs. To get a FREE consultation, call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.