Even though hit and runs are illegal and very dangerous, thousands still occur each year. These accidents can leave you feeling helpless and wondering how you will possibly pay for the costs of your injuries and property damage. Fortunately, you have options. For legal help, call a hit and run accident lawyer in Pittsburgh at Berger and Green: 412-661-1400.
What To Do in a Hit and Run
Being in a hit and run in Pennsylvania is scary but it will pay off to take a second to collect yourself. While your first instinct may be to chase after the driver, this will do more harm than good. You could be putting yourself in danger, in addition to potentially causing additional damage that your claim will not cover. Instead of chasing after the driver, try to remember the following about the car or driver:
- Make, model, year
- As much of the license plate as you can recall
- Any other distinguishing features of the car or driver
- The direction the driver was heading
Ask any drivers or pedestrians who stopped if they saw anything that could help.
Keeping calm and giving the officers on scene as much information as possible will help them find the hit and run driver and make covering your injuries and property damage easier.
How can I pay for my injuries after a hit and run?
How you pay for your injuries depends on the outcome of your accident. If you are unable to locate the driver, you will need to use:
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
You can use your personal injury protection coverage (PIP) help you cover the costly medical expenses and lost wages that can come with a hit and run accident in Pittsburgh.
Because PIP coverage is a requirement in Pennsylvania, you do not need to worry about whether or not you have this coverage. However, the minimum — and the amount many drivers opt for — is only $5,000. A moderate injury can easily surpass these limits.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Unlike PIP, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is not a requirement for drivers in the State of Pennsylvania. However, in the event of a hit and run, it could be a primary source of recovery for injuries and damages to your vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage pays for your injuries and property damage (if you opted to purchase uninsured motorist property damage coverage) against accidents caused by an uninsured driver. However, when officers cannot find a driver, your insurance will treat the situation the same as if the driver had no insurance.
Your insurer will most likely require a police report and/or eyewitness testimony that confirms you were involved in an accident with a driver who fled the scene.
Note: You will likely not be able to obtain a police report until at least 15 days after the crash. Make sure you report your claim to your insurer before requesting a police report. Many insurers require that you report a claim within 30 days; if you do not report the crash within 30 days, you could forfeit your right to compensation.
Collision coverage, not required under Pennsylvania insurance law, will likely be your last ditch effort to help cover the costs of damage to your vehicle.
It is not ideal, as this type of claim would likely increase your premiums significantly, but if the damage to your vehicle is severe enough, and you cannot supply a credible witness, it may be your last hope of collecting compensation to cover property damage.
Before your report your hit and run claim, check your policy to see what coverages you have and the deductible you will have to pay.
You may also be able to use your health insurance to cover your injuries. It is important to note that your health insurance company will likely require you to use your auto insurance policies first before it agrees to pay for anything.
If the officers are able to locate the hit and run driver, you can file a liability claim against him or her and recover compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A Pittsburgh hit and run attorney can help you file a claim to recover compensation.
Contact Berger and Green Today For A FREE Consultation
At Berger and Green, we are dedicated to helping work through your PA hit and run case and finding out how to get you the best possible recovery for your situation.
A hit and run may make you feel that you have nowhere to turn, but do not think you need to handle it on your own. Our 40 years of experience advocating for accident victims allows us to explore every option for getting you the compensation you need and deserve.
And our attorneys do things a bit differently: In addition to offering free case evaluations in our office, we also offer free home and hospital consultations.
We also work on a contingency basis so you do not pay us a thing unless we win for you. We want you to focus on recovering from your traumatic experience, not on how you are going to pay us.
There truly is no obligation. Give us a call today at 412-661-1400 to schedule your consultation.