Uninsured motorist insurance coverage can be critical to recovery after a hit and run accident says Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear.
A hit and run accident can be a living nightmare. You or a family member may have been seriously injured, your car severely damaged and the person who caused it is nowhere to be found. Hit and run accidents comprise about 10% of all accidents, causing about 1,500 deaths each year, according to the AAA Foundation for Safety. In a podcast available on YouTube Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear says there are steps you can take now to lessen the harm that can be caused by a future hit and run accident.
As part of your auto insurance you should have under or uninsured motorist coverage. Spear says, “Uninsured motorist coverage is important. It’s relatively inexpensive. If you don’t have it on your policy you definitely want to look for it because it enables you to bring a claim directly against your insurance company as if they were the other driver’s insurance company,” car accident attorney Spear says.
He says to take advantage of this coverage there are steps you must take “In Pennsylvania you need a police report contemporaneous with the accident. Call the police, make sure they come and take down a complete report of exactly what happened, where and how. Give them as much information as you can because the law requires that you do everything to the best of your ability to protect the information so that the insurance company doesn’t think someone is just making up a bogus claim.”
“In Pennsylvania and New Jersey there’s also the assigned claims plan which is a fund set up so each insurance company contributes to it, enabling you to bring a claim against them if you don’t own a motor vehicle,” Spear says.
It’s a resource that can be used if a vehicle strikes you but does not stop so you don’t know who drove the vehicle or who owns it so there’s no other source of recovery. Generally the policy limits for the assigned claims plan is $15,000 plus medical benefits of five thousand dollars. “It’s not a big recovery,” Spear says, “But it was designed to help and assist injured victims who get hurt through no fault of their own and simply have no where to go for insurance coverage for either medical bills or pain and suffering.”
Spear says his clients in hit and run accidents give what information they have and his office investigates the accident, including photos of the accident scene and the damage done to vehicles. Spear says if accident victims are able to they should take as many photos or videos of the scene at or near the time of the accident.
If you are injured in a hit and run accident Spear suggests speaking with a car accident attorney sooner rather than later. “The longer you delay and wait the more the insurance company may suspect that something is not right. I like to have these claims reported within 48 hours after the client calls me. They come in or we go to them right away. We get all the information and we put the insurance company on notice, we put the assigned claims plan on notice we put everybody on notice so there’s no problem.”
Spear says depending on the circumstances without the proper insurance hit and run victims may end up paying for the harm done. “I have clients who come in and see me who don’t have uninsured motorist coverage and for one reason or another they’re just not entitled to a fair recovery. We find it to be very distressing but unfortunately there is a hole in the law and occasionally someone falls into that hole and is not able to get fair compensation. In essence they end up footing the bill and it’s really just a horrific situation.”
If you or a family member are injured in a hit and run vehicle accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 888-373-4LAW or through his website for a free consultation. You can discuss what happened, how the law may apply and your best options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.