Handling Hit-and-Run Accident Cases
I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch car accident lawyer. Hit-and-run accidents are on the rise throughout the state of California. Regardless of technological advances in society today, it may seem virtually impossible to prevent hit-and-run accidents from occurring. However, the only way for motorists to prepare themselves for this type of accident is by purchasing essential insurance coverage.
San Jose Interstate 280 Hit-and-Run Accident
A hit-and-run accident occurred in San Jose during the early morning hours of Sunday, February 5, 2017. A man was traveling northbound along Interstate 280 when his 1999 Honda Odyssey van became disabled due to a flat tire. The man pulled over to the right shoulder of the highway in the vicinity of McLaughlin Avenue to change his left front tire shortly after 4:00 a.m. As the man was changing his tire, an oncoming vehicle struck him and immediately fled from the scene. The impact of the collision caused the 45-year-old man to suffer traumatic injuries. The only thing that the negligent driver left at the scene was the front bumper and fender of their 2006 to 2013 red Toyota Corolla.
Reporting Hit-and-Run Accidents
California law requires anyone that has been involved in an accident that has reached or exceeded $750 in property damages, or when a party has suffered injuries or death, to report this accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, it is very important for anyone that has been involved in an accident to file a report with the local police.
Reporting hit-and-run accidents as soon as possible is critical in an investigation. This increases the chances of authorities tracking down the negligent driver that fled from the scene of the accident.
When reporting hit-and-run accidents, be sure to include the following details:
- Time and location of the accident
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Take images of your vehicle, especially the areas where the hit-and-run vehicle’s paint is visible on it
- Details regarding the model, make and license plate number of the hit-and-run vehicle if you were able to observe the vehicle
Treatment Options for your Injuries
Victims that have suffered injuries due to hit-and-run accidents may worry about the cost of seeking treatment. It is essential for a hit-and-run accident victim to seek medical treatment for their injuries. By doing so, it helps the victim maintain their health and well-being. Seeking medical attention after this type of accident is also critical when filing a claim. An insurance adjuster may question the true extent of your injuries when you delay or fail to see a doctor promptly. Delay in treatment may lead to an insurance adjuster reducing or even denying your claim.
Reviewing Your Own Insurance Policy
California is an at-fault auto insurance state. What this means is that motorists that live in this state are required to have liability insurance. This insurance is utilized to pay for injuries to others when the their insuree causes an accident. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company may still be impossible. Victims that have been involved in a hit-and-run accident should resort it to their own insurance policy to be compensated for their losses.
One type of automobile coverage that may be used to help a hit-and-run accident victim pay for their medical bills is uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage (UM). Many motorists choose to purchase this type of insurance coverage even though it is not required by law in California. This coverage will pay for medical expenses for not only yourself but other occupants in your vehicle that have suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident. What many do not know about this coverage is that it may also be used to compensate for injuries that you or a family member have suffered when struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking or bicycling.
Another type of coverage that can be offered through your own insurance policy is medical payments coverage. The minimum policy amount for this coverage starts at $1,000, but you can choose higher policy limits for this type of coverage. Regardless of who is at fault in an automobile accident, this coverage is used to pay medical expenses to treat injuries to you and your passengers in your vehicle. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you with a hit-and-run accident case.
Related Content by Edward A. Smith:
- Can I Recover for my Medical Expenses?
- Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Protection
- The Importance of Uninsured-Under insured Motorist Insurance Coverage
Antioch Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch car accident lawyer. If you, or someone you love has suffered injuries from a hit-and-run accident, please contact me at (925) 428-5220 for free and friendly advice. You may also contact me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Take a look at my successful past of Verdicts and Settlements.
I am the founder of Northern California’s premiere personal injury website, AutoAccident.com.
Photograph Credit: By Steven Straiton from UK (California Highway Patrol) via Wikimedia Commons