Hit-and-Run Accident Victims May Need to Turn to Their Own Policies for Compensation

June 3, 2016 | Category: Car Accidents

It is hard to imagine someone causing an accident and then driving away, leaving pedestrians or other motorists with injuries so severe that they cannot take the steps they need to get help. Yet, according to the most recent data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2013, 3,146 hit-and-run accidents resulted in injuries and fatalities in Los Angeles alone.

When hit-and-run drivers cannot be caught, a Los Angeles auto accident attorney can still do many things to help victims seek compensation from other sources. However, victims' options become more limited when they do not carry the right type of insurance coverage.

Optional Insurance Coverage Can Help

Unless motorists can meet the tough requirements for having financial responsibility without carrying insurance, California insurance laws absolutely require motorists to carry certain levels of liability insurance. In fact, a lack of insurance is a common reason why drivers hit and run.

State laws do not require motorists to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM), but they do require insurers to offer it. While motorists can sign a waiver, the coverage can be important when drivers need to file their own claims after sustaining damage or injuries by a driver who hits and runs. The coverage can also help when expenses exceed the amount covered by the policy of a liable party. The coverage essentially works like this:

  • Motorists who purchase UM/UIM coverage can buy a minimum of $1,000 of medical payments coverage for each injured individual, but they have the option to purchase higher levels of coverage.
  • Even pedestrians can file claims when they carry the coverage for their vehicles.
  • The policies also cover property damage, but the maximum coverage is $3,500 — and coverage only applies when the liable driver can be identified.

How Legal Support Can Make a Difference with Insurance Claims

Clearly, UM/UIM insurance has specific limitations, but some insurers can try to unfairly reduce or deny claims, as well. In some cases, it takes no more than a phone call from an attorney to get these types of claims back on track for full payment.

Just as important, skilled auto accident lawyers look beyond obvious insurance issues to help their clients pursue all compensation that is within their rights. For example, even when an underinsured driver causes injuries while running errands for an employer, that employer is most likely legally-required to pay the related expenses of accident victims.

A free initial consultation with The Rudman Law Firm helps victims to gain a clear understanding of their legal rights. Call us at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213)375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969.

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