Drivers have responsibilities to other drivers on the roadways. For example, under Colorado law, a driver who is involved in an automobile collision has a responsibility to stop, give medical aid, and share contact information and car insurance information with the other party. Drivers who fail to do so are considered hit-and-run drivers.
Despite this, many drivers still break the law. This is a serious issue, and as a driver, you may wonder, what should I do if this happens to me?
After a hit-and-run collision, do not panic. Instead, do the following:
- Get yourself and your vehicle to safety. If you can, get your car out of the road. Also, check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. You may not feel any pain at first due to the adrenaline rush. Check your body for any blood or broken bones.
- Call the police. The police can help you by looking for the fleeing driver. The officer can also file a report, which will be helpful for your insurance company.
- Document the scene. What happened? What do you remember about the hit-and-run driver? What kind of car was it? What color? If you remember any part of the license plate, that is even better. Look for any evidence around the accident scene, such as bumpers or other vehicle parts that fell off the other vehicle. If you have a dash cam, that could provide the police with evidence they need.
- Notify your insurance company. Let your agent know what happened. They will let you know what information they need and can help you understand your insurance coverage.
Will your insurance cover a hit-and-run accident? Most likely, yes, at least to some degree. This will depend on your coverage.
The first thing you want to do is get a copy of your declarations page. This explains what coverage you have on your automobile insurance policy.
Do you have collision coverage? While optional, this pays for the repairs for auto damage caused by the hit-and-run driver.
Do you have medpay coverage on your auto insurance policy? The other party who hit you is not liable to pay your health care costs while you are receiving medical treatment. They may have to pay for it at the end of the case if you have a settlement or judgment. Medpay is an optional coverage that pays for your auto-related medical treatment if you are involved in a car collision, whether you are responsible for the collision or not. The minimum amount of coverage is $5,000.00 with some insurance carriers offering up to $100,000.00 in medpay coverage.
Do you have uninsured/underinsured coverage (UM/UIM)? This coverage is also optional and protects you in situations when you can’t find the hit-and-run driver. Thus, there is no liability insurance to cover your damages. In our hypothetical situation, if the person who caused the collision only has $25,000.00 in liability coverage and your damages are over $500,000.00, who is going to pay the difference? This is where UM/UIM coverage comes in. If you prove to your insurance carrier that your collision was caused by a hit-and-run driver, your insurance carrier is required to offer you uninsured motorist coverage if your auto policy has the coverage.
Working with a personal injury attorney is important to receiving the best possible outcome in your case. Our legal team can provide you with the proper steps to take, and what to expect, and allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
If you or a loved one have received injuries from a hit-and-run collision, contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at Clawson & Clawson, LLP. Our legal team has years of experience handling auto collision cases and will work diligently to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a no-obligation case evaluation.