Hit and run accidents are the worst of both worlds. You’re injured, your vehicle is damaged, and the driver at fault is nowhere to be seen. It’s a frequent nightmare on Kentucky roads. If the other driver can’t be tracked down, your policy will cover you if you have the right coverage. The fact that the driver may never be seen again won’t be the end of your recovery.
What’s a Hit and Run Accident?
It’s a driver involved in an accident who leaves the scene without stopping. The driver doesn’t provide you with their ID, insurance information or offer assistance before the police arrive. It’s not only irresponsible, it’s a crime.
Hit and run accidents may be more common than you imagine. There were 10,631 reported hit and run accidents last year in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky State Police, resulting in 30 deaths and 1,251 injuries. That’s more than three injuries a week in the state in 2020 caused by hit and run accidents.
Nearly half of these accidents happened on city streets, and more than a quarter occurred on state routes. Hit and runs, like all accidents, often occur at intersections. If it’s dark, a driver may feel they have a better chance of escaping without anyone getting a good look at them.
Hit and runs are almost 4.4 times more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m. compared with 8 a.m. and 11:59 a.m., according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Weekends increase the chances of getting hit by a drunk driver.
Who Leaves an Accident Without Offering Help?
The driver may not want to face the consequences of the crash. They may be intoxicated, so they fear arrest or not even realize there was a collision. The driver may be an undocumented immigrant who fears deportation. You shouldn’t get into an argument with the other driver after an accident because they may claim you threatened them, justifying leaving the scene.
Hit and run drivers are more likely to be young men with a history of prior DWI arrests and license suspensions, reports the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. They often drive older model cars, and if they’re arrested soon after the accident, there’s a very good chance they’re drunk. Hit and run drivers are two and nine times more likely to be intoxicated at the time of the crash than other types of accidents.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Hit and Run Accident?
If you’re hurt in a hit and run accident, call the police because not only might you or a passenger be injured, the other driver committed a crime. Tell them what you can about the other vehicle because you never know what might be helpful in their investigation. If all you can recall is it was a blue pickup, if police find a damaged blue pickup in a parking lot with paint scraped off your vehicle on it, it could be the start of criminal charges.
If the accident’s on a city street, there’s a greater chance the crash was captured by a security camera. It may on traffic lights, nearby businesses, or homes. Statements from witnesses, including your passengers, could be critical to police tracking down the driver. If they do, they can be sued for their negligence.
Why is Insurance Important for a Hit and Run Accident?
Before you get into an accident, get insurance to cover a hit and run. Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is optional in Kentucky. If you’re injured in a hit and run accident, you file a claim with your own insurance carrier. If you’re killed in the accident, surviving family members could file a wrongful death claim.
This coverage can also be used if the other driver stays at the scene and identifies themselves, but they lack coverage or they don’t have enough to cover your injuries and property losses. Many people only buy the minimum coverage, which won’t last long after a severe accident:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
If you’re severely injured, need surgery, and have a lengthy hospital stay, you could exhaust this coverage in hours, if not days.
Why Should I Hire Tyler Fleck If I’m Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?
Your insurance company would investigate the claim and offer a settlement. You paid premiums but don’t expect the carrier to bend over backward to pay you what we demand. Insurance companies play hardball, and if they’re not reasonable during negotiations, we can file a lawsuit and take the issue to trial (even without the other driver participating).
If you have any questions about seeking compensation from your insurance carrier after a hit and run accident, contact The Fleck Firm for a free consultation at (270) 446-7000. We’ll talk about the accident, the law, and your best options to proceed. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one too.