How To Handle Hit And Runs And Accidents With Uninsured Drivers
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Although Pennsylvania has one of the lowest numbers of uninsured drivers in the country, Philadelphia tends to have more uninsured drivers due to the high insurance premiums prevalent in certain parts of the city.
As car accident lawyers in Philly, we know getting in an accident is traumatic enough. When the other driver flees the scene or you come to find out they don’t have insurance, the situation can become even more stressful. That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.
What to Do If You Were Involved in a Hit and Run
A hit and run occurs when another driver hits your car and does not stop. Instead, they take off, leaving you to deal with the aftermath of the accident. You may be in shock when this happens but try to gather as much information as you can. If possible, get the make and model of the car, license plate, time and location of the accident, and any other factors that may be helpful in reporting the incident. If you have a smartphone, use the camera. Then, call the police and report the accident as soon as possible.
If you cannot record any of the information, see if there are any witnesses around who may have seen what happened. Witnesses can help you set the scene for the police and your insurance company and may have useful information about the car and driver.
What to Do If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
You never know when you’re going to get in an accident with an uninsured driver, but it can and does happen. Be aware that sometimes the at-fault driver will give you proof of insurance that expired. At times, their insurance looks valid, but they may have canceled their policy right after getting it to give the illusion that they are insured. Make sure you get their name, phone number, and vehicle information at the time of the accident.
You should also call the police to file a report and take as many photos of both cars, any damage done, and the accident scene. If the driver offers you money, don’t accept it. You won’t know how much your damages or injuries will be worth right after the accident, so it’s best to wait until you have more information.
Make an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Whether you were involved in a hit and run or a car accident where the other driver didn’t have insurance, you may need to make an Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim against your own insurance company.
UM coverage is optional coverage for which you pay an additional premium. It does not make your rates increase – only causing an accident does. This coverage allows you to recover damages against your own insurance company when you are involved in a hit and run or a vehicle that is not insured.