If you suffered injuries in a Pittsburgh car accident and the other driver left the scene of the crash, you still have several options for collecting the money you need to pay your medical bills , cover lost wages, and make up for other accident-related damages.
What Is My First Option for Recovering Compensation?
In Pennsylvania, choice no-fault auto insurance laws require you to carry a no-fault policy that pays out to cover some of your damages no matter who caused your car accident. Thanks to this policy—sometimes called personal injury protection (PIP)—you can file an insurance claim that will cover your medical bills for some minor or moderate injuries.
However, the costs associated with serious and catastrophic injuries may surpass your policy limits. If this occurs, you will need to consider your other options for compensation. This includes working to identify the at-fault driver and filing a liability claim or filing a claim based on your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Both of these options also allow you to collect other damages above and beyond your medical treatment costs and lost wages.
What If Police Were Able to Identify the Other Driver?
After any hit-and-run crash, the police should try to identify the driver who caused the accident and left the scene. We encourage you to write down as much information as possible about the driver, their vehicle, and what happened as soon as possible so you can remember to tell police. Even the smallest detail can be important when trying to identify the at-fault driver.
Getting contact information of all witnesses is also important, since they may leave the scene before police arrive. Once they arrive, police will interview all witnesses and check nearby businesses to see if surveillance cameras caught the accident or the fleeing vehicle on tape.
If police do identify the at-fault driver, and you can show they caused your accident, you can file a claim based on their auto liability insurance. This could entitle you to a range of economic damages. You can also ask for damages for your pain and suffering if you:
- Opted for full tort coverage;
- Meet the state’s serious injury threshold; or
- Meet another exception to the limited tort laws.
If police can identify the driver, a car accident lawyer in Pittsburgh can explain your legal options, help you prove your case, and try to hold them liable for your damages.
Can I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim After a Hit-And-Run Accident?
You do not have to carry uninsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania, but we recommend it to all our clients. Having this type of coverage ensures you have somewhere to turn for compensation if a driver leaves the scene after causing a crash.
You should be able to file a claim based on your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if:
- Police cannot identify the driver who left the scene; or
- Police identify the at-fault driver, but they do not have insurance; and
- You can provide evidence to show the other driver caused your accident and injuries.
If the best option to get compensation for your damages is by filing a claim based on your uninsured motorist coverage, we can handle this process for you. We will try to get a fair settlement from your insurance company based on the full value of your losses. Even if you file your claim on your own, it is a good idea to discuss any settlement agreements with an attorney before signing. This could help you recover a fair settlement that includes your future expenses and ongoing needs.
How Can I Discuss My Options With a Hit-And-Run Car Accident Attorney?
At Berger and Green, we can handle any Pittsburgh car accident case and help you understand your legal options for compensation. Even when the other driver left the scene, there are options for getting a payout that covers your medical care, lost wages, repair and replacement of your vehicle, and other damages. In some cases, we may even be able to recover pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages for our clients.
We offer free consultations and case reviews for clients in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. We can help you understand the strengths and difficulties in your case, and handle it on a contingency basis. Call us at 412-661-1400 for your complimentary consultation with a member of our team.