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4 things to do when you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident

Hit-and-run accidents occur more often than you might think.  From the Insurance Information Institute (III):  The number of fatal hit and run crashes has been rising since 2009, according to a USA Today analysis based on NHTSA data. In 2009 there were 1,274 fatal hit and run crashes, 1,393 in 2010 and 1,449 in 2011. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said that about one in five pedestrian fatalities were caused by hit and run drivers and 60 percent of all hit and run deaths were among pedestrians.

When you get into an auto accident, it’s second nature to grab the insurance and pertinent information from the other party.  But what if the other party takes off?  What if you are injured? Unfortunately, unless the offending driver can be found through witness identification of their vehicle and license plate, turning themselves in, or through some other means, there is really no way to hold him/her accountable– and criminal penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident vary from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Even though you might not know the identity of the other driver, you still may be able to make a personal injury claim by doing so on your own policy (the uninsured motorist coverage).  Kansas happens to be one of the few no-fault states, so this would be the case.  In other states, the most likely option for compensation will be to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.

  1. The injured party should call the police as soon as the crime has been committed.
  2. If you are able, try to identify the make/model/license plate of the other car.  If you can get a description of the driver, write that down as well. Anything you can write down will be helpful to both the police dispatcher, insurance agent and/or attorney.
  3. Same goes for witnesses.  If someone stopped to help you or render assistance, they will likely share their contact information with you.  Write this down.
  4. Call your insurance company and an attorney.  As stated earlier, many motorists carry uninsured motorist coverage, so you might receive compensation for damage done to your vehicle and your person.  An attorney can help you recoup ALL of your costs and potentially more.

If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, or if the other side is being contentious right out of the gate, you’ll probably want to put your personal injury case in the hands of an experienced attorney. Trust and experience should be at the heart of this decision and Protzman Law Firm has the experience to handle your personal injury claim.  Our firm is built on trust, fairness and doing the right thing.

You will receive the most aggressive, technologically sound representation that is contingency-based. We are here to represent you, and we will work hard to obtain the maximum possible settlement.  When you are ready to discuss your legal options, we are ready to help.  Contact us today.

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