Indiana law requires motorists to do three things when they have an accident. First, they must pull over at the scene (or close to it). Second, they must exchange contact and insurance information with any other motorist involved. Third, they must summon police and provide reasonable assistance if anyone suffers injuries. Any motorist who causes a crash who fails to do these things may face hit-and-run charges.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are a far too common occurrence. There are various reasons why someone may strike someone and leave the crash scene, have a suspended license or no insurance, be intoxicated or have a warrant out for their arrest. Whatever their reasons for fleeing the scene of the accident, they leave you in a precarious position when they do.
Sorting out liability in hit-and-run accidents
The hit-and-run driver is generally presumed to be liable, but they aren’t around to sue (unless the police eventually catch them). If you have uninsured motorist insurance, however, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company for such things as pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages up to the limit of your policy.
In your effort to get compensated for the damages you sustained to both yourself and your vehicle, you may encounter a significant obstacle: The insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. Therefore, the best way to increase their bottom line is to pay out as few claims as possible. Thus, not only is a low ball offer possible, it is more than likely to happen.
How should you proceed in your hit-and-run accident case?
Once the initial shock of your accident wore off and the extent of your injuries became clear, the smartest thing you can do is find out more about your legal options. Working with an experienced advocate can help you navigate the insurance company maze so that you don’t jeopardize the compensation you need to move forward.