Law Office of James R. Snell Jr. October 2018

18 OCT

Road to justice |

What Happens After a Hit-and-Run

And How to Get Compensation

Getting in a car accident, even a minor fender bender, is a stressful experience. At the very least, it will be a logistical headache. Even worse, you may be injured and

your car may be totaled. All of this stress gets magnified when you can’t find the other party involved in the accident. Like a ghost, they’ve disappeared, leaving you to pick up the pieces.

Before I get into how we deal with hit-and-run claims, I want to give you one piece of advice. If you’re in an accident of any type, but especially one where the other party flees the scene, the first step you should take is to call the police as soon as it’s reasonable to do so. Doing so gives credence to your claim and eliminates the possibility of a “he

said, she said” case. Try to remember any details you can about the other vehicle. You may not have the plate number, but every bit of information is valuable. Here’s an example of why those details matter. Years ago, we had a client who was run off the road by a red pickup. Our client didn’t get the plates, but they did remember the color of the car and that it had some damage to its front end. Armed with this information, we decided to hire an investigator to monitor the road where the accident took place around the day and time when it occurred. After a few weeks, lo and behold, we found the truck we were looking for. Our investigator spoke to the person behind the wheel and they promptly confessed to the crime.

“There are instances where we never find the

at-fault party, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated if that happens.”

You may not have UM in your policy, but that’s through no fault of your own. In South Carolina, auto insurance companies are not required to include UM and its sibling, UIM (underinsured motorist coverage), in policies automatically. What they are required to do is make a “meaningful offer” of these coverages. If we can prove that a meaningful offer was never provided, you can get UM and UIM coverage retroactively.

The possibility of being in a hit-and-run is scary, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The good news is that you can receive a substantial resolution from accidents of this type. Don’t get spooked into doing nothing. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, whether the other party is playing tricks or not, call our office today to find out how we can help.

Sadly, not all hit-and-run accidents or incidents of being run off the road end with such a clean resolution. There are instances where we never find the at-fault party, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated if that happens. When the party responsible cannot be located, you receive compensation through a clause in your auto insurance policy known as uninsured motorist coverage (UM). UM is how you are paid when the at-fault driver is uninsured, hence the name, but it’s also used in hit-and-run cases.

–Jim Snell | | F: 800-567-6249 | P: 803-753-1476 1

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