Hit and Run Car Accident Injuries – Who Pays?
Mount Laurel UM/UIM Car Accident Attorneys
Due in part to the economic downturn, more and more Americans are driving without insurance coverage. In fact, experts and other observers have noticed an increase in uninsured / underinsured drivers since 2009. With foreclosures, unemployment, and bankruptcy affecting millions of Americans, many are choosing to let their car insurance lapse in order to pay for other things. As a result, it’s likely that the number of uninsured / underinsured drivers will continue to rise. Consequently, it’s not unreasonable to expect a rise in the number of hit and run accidents as uninsured motorists attempt to avoid criminal charges or lawsuits after hitting another car, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
Recovering Compensation after a Hit and Run Accident
If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident, you can recover financial compensation under the terms of your own policy’s uninsured / underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage. Since UM/UIM coverage is not mandatory in New Jersey, you’ll want to make sure you purchased it and for how much you’re covered. If you purchased $100,000 UM/UIM coverage, you can claim up to that amount in damages under the terms of your UM/UIM policy less any amount you received from the responsible parties insurance.
Here, however, is where a hit and run injury victim can encounter difficulties with their own insurer. Since insurance companies are in business to make money, they can be difficult to deal with regarding UM/UIM claims.
You may be on good terms with your agent and have an excellent rapport with him or her. However, once you submit a UM/UIM claim after a hit and run accident, your relationship essentially becomes adversarial: since the other driver fled the scene, your insurer is unlikely to recover the losses it has to pay you. As a result, they may delay your payment, choose to take their time in the investigation, or dispute the severity of your injuries.
Protecting Your Interests after a Hit and Run Car Accident
If your insurer disputes your claim, you’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. Although UM/UIM claims generally do not go to trial in New Jersey, they are handled through arbitration. Here, an impartial third party will listen to both sides of the case and decision. Arbitration requires that both parties agree to adhere to the arbitrator’s decision which means you and your insurer must accept what is final decided.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you prepare for and participate in the arbitration process. An experienced car accident lawyer understands what sorts of tactics insurers resort to minimize claims, including the use of claims software like Colossus and medical economists and life care planners. As such, you and your personal injury attorney may need to hire your own experts in order to challenge those working for your insurer.
Contact Mount Laurel UM/UIM Claims Attorneys
A hit and run accident can be a nightmare beyond the physical injuries you suffer if your insurer balks at paying your claim in a timely fashion. To protect your interests and learn how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel car accident attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.