Consider this scenario: You’re driving home from work during rush hour traffic. Suddenly, a car rear-ends you. Before you can react, you notice the car that hit you is speeding off into traffic. You’ve just been involved in a “hit-and-run” incident. What can you do? You have car insurance, but how do they handle this situation?
First, gather as much information as possible. If you notice the car speeding off, write down the make, model, and license plate number. These details can help police locate the driver, and can also help your insurance company decide your claim. If there are witnesses that have stopped to help, ask for their names and contact information so that they can verify your claim. Make a note of the time and location in which the accident took place, and take pictures of your vehicle.
If you are eventually able to identify the driver that hit you, you can obtain their insurance information and file a claim through their insurance. If you or police are unable to locate the driver or if the driver was uninsured, you may have to file a claim with your own insurance company and seek coverage through uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. The law requires insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage, up to the state minimum liability limits, which is currently $30,000.00 per person, $60,000.00 per accident. Additional uninsured motorist coverage can be purchased from your insurance company.
We recommend that you have $1,000,000.00 of uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect you, anyone riding with you, and any family member that is riding in someone else’s car in the event that the person that caused the wreck has no insurance. You will find that once you buy a little bit of this type of coverage, buying say ten times more will only cost you about two or three times (not ten times) the premium, so purchasing this much coverage is not nearly as expensive as you may think. Talk to your insurance agent now, as you should not have to wait for your policy to renew to add this coverage.
If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run, Kelly & West has the experience handling these cases. Contact us today to see how we can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Oliver and Sherrie M. – Car Accident
“We were hit head-on by someone who run a red light. I got bruised up real bad inside and I had just had shoulder surgery and it inflamed that. My wife was hurt the worst. It disfigured her right arm. We were referred to Mr. West through our son-in-law so we went up and set an appointment with him. We went in and met him for the first time and he is a very nice gentleman to say the least. He took over the case and found out who the [driver] was. It had totaled the car and I had just gotten it paid off. They didn’t even get hurt. Mr. West took the case and went way out of his way to help. The lady who hit us … they had only the cheapest insurance to get the car on the road … so he helped us get more money to help us pay the bills. We are very happy with how it turned out. Kelly and West, they’re good people. You can talk to them and they’re down home people.”