Were you in a car accident with a hit and run or phantom driver? You might think you are out of luck in placing liability on a person you cannot track down, but this is not always the case. Even if the driver cannot be identified or located, you can and should file a claim with your own insurance company due to your loss. If your insurance company denies you full coverage or does not reimburse you for your out-of-pockets, you can file a claim against your own insurer.
Hit and Run Accidents in Texas
Leaving the scene of an accident in Texas is illegal. It is a crime with penalties ranging from six months in jail to ten years in prison, along with hefty fines. Knowingly leaving the scene after striking a pedestrian or cyclist or with knowledge that the collision caused bodily injury is heinous. Even leaving the scene of an accident only to return later is still illegal. If you were involved in an accident with a hit and run driver, you need to call the police immediately to file a damage report, seek medical treatment, and provide a description of the driver and/or the vehicle, and any damage sustained to their car due to the impact. The police can put out an all points bulletin and even notify regional authorities and the news media of the driver’s physical description and the description of the car. Often suspects are caught within a few days after their vehicle (with noticeable collision damage) is spotted. In that case, if the defendant is apprehended, your insurance company can aptly bring a claim against their insurance company (if they are insured) or the defendant themselves.
Determining Your Coverage Limits
If the driver was uninsured, underinsured, or you were never able to identify them, your insurance company should still cover the damages provided you obtained an uninsured motorists addition to your policy. Even if you did not, your insurance company should cover the cost of repairing your vehicle or declaring it a total loss and refunding you the fair market value of the car, rental car expenses, transportation, and medical bills. If you financed your car and purchased comprehensive collision coverage, review your declarations page to determine what coverage is extended to you. In addition, if you purchased GAP insurance from your dealer, a third party insurer or your car insurance adjuster, review your policy and file a claim for assistance in paying the balance on a car loan for a vehicle that is now deemed a total loss. Texas law requires that all drivers maintain PIP (personal injury protection) at a minimum of $2,500 dollars. PIP coverage is utilized for the driver, guests or passengers when injured in an accident, regardless of fault. If you are confused about your coverage, your insurance company is denying coverage, or your insurance company is not attempting to locate the hit and run driver, you may have a claim. Keep records of all communications, invoices and medical bills and contact our attorneys at Wham & Rogers, PLLC.
Call Wham & Rogers, PLLC Today
If you or a family member was injured in a hit and run accident, do not delay to seek the help you need. What happened to you was unfair, but you are entitled to damages and compensation for property loss and medical bills. Do not delay, contact our attorneys at Wham & Rogers, PLLC to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.