In order to receive compensation for damages after a car accident, it will need to be proven that another motorist was negligent. Generally, damages will be addressed through that driver’s insurance coverage. However, this depends on whether the driver is insured or uninsured. And if the accident was a hit and run, it could make the case a bit more complicated.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents
In West Virginia, uninsured motorist coverage is required by law, which can protect motorists in the event of a hit and run crash. Otherwise, if the driver only carried the minimum amount of liability insurance, recovery may become more difficult.
Uninsured motorist coverage not only covers damage to the vehicle, it also covers:
- medical expenses;
- lost earnings; and
- other losses such as pain and suffering.
Coverage may extend up to the limits of the policy. If an injured driver doesn’t have this type of coverage, then collision coverage could be used. However, it may only cover property damage and result in a premiums hike.
If Driver is Found, Filing an Insurance Claim Against His/Her Insurance
Another option in a hit and run is to file a car accident insurance claim. Of course, this is assuming that the driver is eventually caught.
If that were to happen, it could allow an injured victim to recover more in compensation than might be available through his or her own insurance policy, as the victim may pursue compensation through the defendant's insurance and additional compensation through a lawsuit. This would depend on the type of injury, its severity and the impact it will have on the victim’s life.
Hit and run accidents aren’t the only types of crashes where recovering compensation can be complicated. If the other driver simply does not have insurance, uninsured motorist coverage may again be helpful in recovering damages. But even if the other driver has insurance and stays at the scene, an attorney may be of help with cases involving significant injury and damages.