Injured in a hit and run accident? Choose an Experienced Personal Injury lawyer. Choose Parker Scheer LLP.
All too often, news outlets report about hit and run accidents that result in serious personal injury and even death. These accidents are tragedies and are made worse when the responsible driver leaves the scene of the crash and does not attempt to help the injured motorist or pedestrian. The most serious hit and run accidents are reported on TV and, by receiving this media attention, there is a greater likelihood that the responsible driver is caught. If the driver is caught, then he or she will face criminal charges and the civil claim will be brought directly against the responsible driver.
The issue arises when the responsible driver is not caught. Are the injured victims precluded from any recovery because the driver did not stay at the crash scene after he or she caused the accident? Fortunately, in most scenarios, the answer is no.
Hopefully, there is clear evidence that a car accident took place and that someone else was at fault. For example, damage to the rear bumper of your vehicle with another color paint is convincing evidence that an accident occurred and that your vehicle was struck by another vehicle. Unfortunately, the evidence is not always this clear. If not, it becomes abundantly important to ensure that you document the crash scene as best as possible (and assuming you are not prevented due to injuries) by taking photographs of the scene. Also, eyewitnesses to the accident may determine whether your insurance company will accept the claim.
Prompt notice to the automobile insurance company is necessary and required. If the responsible driver is never located, then your claim for personal injuries will be brought under your Uninsured Motorist’s Coverage. This coverage covers car accidents caused by another operator that is never identified or one that does not have insurance coverage for the loss. Once your insurance company receives notice of a claim for a hit and run accident, they will immediately begin their investigation. Part of their investigation will be learning and obtaining any information that the claimant may have gathered regarding the accident. After their investigation, the insurer will make a determination regarding the claim. If they accept the claim, the claim is handled similarly to a regular claim against a responsible driver. The major exception is that if the parties are not able to agree on a settlement amount, the claim is submitted to arbitration, not a jury trial.
Arbitration is a binding process by which both sides (the claimant and the insurer) submit evidence an arbitrator who then issues a written arbitration award. The arbitration award is binding and can not be appealed.
Do You Need A Car Accident Lawyer? Find out if you have a hit and run case.
If you have suffered an injury in an hit and run car accident, contact us for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call (617) 886-0500 . If you need a car accident lawyer outside of Massachusetts, contact us for a referral.