Car accidents can be chaotic situations. Injured drivers might be rushed to the hospital, and their vehicles might be completely beyond repair. If you were in a hit and run accident, the driver responsible for the crash might be unknown.
In hit and run cases, drivers may fall back on their own insurance to pay for damages. Indiana requires insurance companies to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for drivers injured by people with no insurance or who flee the scene. However, you are not required to accept this insurance and can reject it if you wish. Suppose you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. In that case, you might have to rely on a police investigation to uncover the negligent driver’s identity so you can sue them or file a claim with their insurance.
If you were the victim of a hit and run accident, you can rely on your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Our Indiana car accident attorneys can help you explore other legal options if you do not have this coverage. For a free case review, call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166.
In a hit and run accident, the driver who hit you flees the crash scene before police can arrive and usually before they can be identified. Committing a hit and run is a criminal offense and should be reported to the police immediately. While the police investigate, injured drivers are left wondering how they will pay for their damages. This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes in.
According to Indiana Code § 27-7-5-2(a), insurance companies are required to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to drivers. According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, the minimum requirements for uninsured motorist coverage is $25,000 per person and up to $50,000 per accident. For underinsured motorist coverage, the minimum requirement is $50,000.
Our Indianapolis car accident lawyers can work to obtain full compensation from your own insurance carrier to get compensation. Indiana is an at-fault state, meaning the person responsible for the accident is the one responsible for paying you money for your losses. This usually means first pursuing that driver’s insurance company for damages. However, you may be able to obtain recovery from your own insurance when the other driver is unknown, like in a hit and run accident, or if the other driver did not maintain insurance or does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you.
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Although uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is very important in many accident cases, it is not required that drivers carry this kind of insurance. It is only required that insurance companies offer this coverage to their customers. Opting to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be a bit more expensive, but it is highly recommended that drivers carry it.
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When buying auto insurance, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage must be offered but can be rejected by the customer. However, rejecting this kind of coverage must be explicit and in writing to be effective. If you do not reject the insurance policy in writing, you will be covered by uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In some instances, you may not even know you have this coverage. In fact, if the insurance company cannot produce evidence that you rejected this coverage in writing, they may be required to provide you with this coverage even if you didn’t pay for it.
Our South Bend car accident lawyers recommend that you carry this additional insurance coverage. Although drivers may not like paying a slightly higher insurance premium, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage might be your only way of covering your damages after a serious car accident, including a hit and run or situation where the other driver does not carry adequate insurance.
If you are the victim of a hit and run collision and do not carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you might still have other options to pay for your expenses. Our Indiana car accident lawyers can help you figure out what your next steps should be and how to get compensation.
A hit and run collision is a criminal offense, and the other driver in your case may be arrested, charged, and prosecuted for their actions. Therefore, it is crucial that you contact the police immediately after your crash. They may conduct an investigation and work to find the other driver.
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Law enforcement officials might uncover the other driver’s identity in their investigation. In that case, you can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance. If the other driver has no insurance – which might be the reason they fled in the first place – you may file a personal injury lawsuit against them personally, or seek recovery against your own insurance company.
Personal injury lawsuits must adhere to a statute of limitations. According to Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4(a), a plaintiff has two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. This means you only have two years after a hit and run accident to find and sue the other driver. If time is running out and you have still not found the other driver, our Hammond, IN car accident attorneys can work with you to discuss available options.
You need evidence to back up your uninsured or underinsured motorist claims, as with any insurance claim. In general, the more evidence you can collect, the better. Our Milwaukee car accident lawyers have handled countless car accident cases and can conduct a full and thorough investigation on your behalf.
After a hit and run accident, you should absolutely contact the police for help. Not only can the police investigate the crash and try to find the other driver, but they can file a report on your accident that can be presented to your own insurance company. This accident report documents that your accident really did happen and that the other driver fled the scene. There might also be information in the report about damage to your vehicle and whether you were taken for emergency medical attention.
We can also use your medical bills and invoices from auto mechanics to help prove your damages. You should also take pictures and record videos of your damaged vehicle and the accident scene immediately following the crash. These photos and videos allow the insurance companies to see what the accident scene looked like immediately after it happened.
If you were hurt in a hit and run accident, you can hopefully get compensation through your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not carry this coverage, our Fort Wayne car accident lawyers can help you explore other options. Call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 for a free case review.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.