Being involved in a car accident is frightening enough, but it is even more upsetting when the person who caused the accident leaves the scene. Not only do you have to deal with the aftermath of your accident alone, but you likely will not have had a chance to determine who the driver was that caused the accident. This can make it very difficult to find out who is liable and to collect compensation to cover your injuries. Our attorneys know how stressful this can be, and we are available to help you with your case.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company may be able to provide you with compensation for your injuries when the driver who caused the accident fled the scene and cannot be found. However, insurance companies usually require you to file a claim within a certain time period of your accident, often within a few weeks. This means that you have to gather all of the information needed to file your claim quickly, and this can be very difficult if you have been hospitalized or are still recovering from any injuries you sustained in the accident. Accordingly, individuals hurt in a hit and run accident should not wait to get in touch with a hit and run accident attorney right away.
There are a few steps you need to take after you have been involved in a hit and run accident to make sure you and your lawyer can easily file your claim with your insurance company. First, if you can, call the police right away and then call emergency medical services. The police will create a report after the accident and can try to determine who the other driver was, if possible.
Second, you need to go to the hospital or to a doctor right away. Even if you do not think you have been hurt, some injuries like concussions or whiplash may not show symptoms right away, and such injuries need to be treated right away. While you are under a doctors care, be sure to obtain copies of your medical records and any bills you incur from surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical procedures. These will be used to show the insurance company how much they should reimburse you for medical expenses.
Third, you or a friend or family member should take your car to be looked at by a mechanic. The mechanic can give you an estimate of how much damage your car suffered in the accident, which will constitute another aspect of your insurance claim.
Finally, you need to be able to prove to the insurance company that you cannot identify the other driver. If the police who came to the scene could not find the driver who caused the accident, they may want to look at traffic cameras or nearby security cameras to see if they can find the person responsible. But if these leads do not turn up the person responsible for the accident, you and your lawyer can demonstrate to the insurance company that you could not locate the person who caused the accident. Your attorney will be there to help you through every step of this investigation. Then, once you and your attorney have gathered all the information needed to file your insurance claim, we will begin the process of filing your claim. Insurance companies will likely handle these claims differently depending on the details of your particular policy.
Your insurance policy may require a clause for contractual arbitration, requiring that your claim be presented before a panel of arbitrators. These arbitrators will include one selected by your insurance company, one selected by your attorney, and one selected by the first two arbitrators. This panel will determine how much compensation the insurance company is responsible for paying you, and so it is important to contact one of our attorneys who can select an experienced arbitrator on your behalf who will carefully consider the evidence and come to a reasonable conclusion with the other arbitrators.
Our attorneys have experience working with hit and run cases in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. We understand that these cases are very stressful and can be difficult to understand and prove, which is why we provide our clients with the best representation available in their hit and run cases. We will work with you throughout every step of the claims process and will represent you during the arbitration process if your policy requires it. Contact our offices right away to receive a free consultation if you have been hurt in a hit and run accident.