Philadelphia Injury Lawyer Says Insurance May Cover Injuries and Damage From Hit & Run Accidents
If you’re the victim of a hit and run accident, just because you don’t know who hit you doesn’t mean you don’t have legal rights. Philadelphia hit & run accident attorney Rand Spear has helped many people in this situation obtain compensation for their injuries and damage to their vehicles. He discussed hit and run accidents in a recent Google hangout that’s available on YouTube.
Whether you’re a pedestrian or driving a vehicle, if you are struck by another vehicle that flees the scene, you may be able to obtain benefits through your own auto insurance company’s uninsured motorist coverage, according to Spear. “If your vehicle is insured many policies have uninsured motorist benefits. That covers you in a situation where there’s a hit and run and you can’t identify the driver.”
“There are also state benefits that in many instances are available to you, called the assigned claims plan, that cover individuals who are injured in a hit and run accident where you don’t know the identity of the other driver who causes the accident,” Spear advises.
The Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Assigned Claims Plan (PFRACP) is a fund that benefits state residents involved in car accidents involving uninsured motorists. The fund is paid for by insurance companies doing business in Pennsylvania. PFRACP pays benefits up to certain limits to a victim who lacks his or her own vehicle insurance or other insurance benefits and who has been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or unidentified driver.
Spear suggests that if while driving you’ve been struck by another vehicle that leaves the scene the first things you want to do are to make sure you’re OK and move the vehicle to a safe spot that won’t cause a hazard to other drivers. The next step is to gather any information you can and try to talk to others at the scene that may be able to help you describe the vehicle, including its license plates.
“Often a witness will come up to someone and let them know they wrote down the plate or they remember the plate, or part of it, and that information is very helpful,” Spear says.
He also advises that you write down as much information as you can recall, such as the make and model of the vehicle, driver description, color of the vehicle, location and description of the accident. If there are any witnesses or passengers in the vehicle with you, get their names and contact information.
Rand states you should also call the police. The information you gathered, especially license plate information, may allow the police to quickly locate the car and its owner. “Often times they can run the tag on the spot and they know the person who owns that vehicle and where that person lives,” Spear says.
Spear advises accident victims to be seen by medical professionals as quickly as possible whether they’re aware of an injury or not. “After an accident, you’re in shock, your adrenaline takes over so you don’t initially feel pain. You’re also very upset and excited,” Spear says, “Then usually a day later you start to relax and unwind, that’s when it hits you and that’s when you start to feel the pain.”