In a perfect world, auto accidents would never happen, and if they did, the person responsible would always take responsibility. Unfortunately, this is not the way things really are; as horrible as it is, hit-and-run accidents are more common than you might think. In fact, they occur every minute in the U.S. And while there is not much you can do to prevent a hit-and-run from happening to you, there are things you can do to protect yourself in the event that it does. In order to do so, it’s important to learn what you can do to minimize negative impacts on your life.
Upgrade Your Auto Insurance
Your auto insurance is designed to protect you in auto accidents. However, it won’t necessarily come into effect after a hit-and-run unless you have the right coverage in place. For hit-and-run accidents, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is what you need. While some states require all licensed drivers to carry this coverage, Florida is not one of them. A basic auto insurance policy in Florida will not include this type of coverage, so you’ll need to request it specifically.
In setting up your policy, be sure to ask your insurance agent to add uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This will typically only result in a nominal increase in your premium, however, in doing so, you are protecting yourself from having to pay for much more down the road if a hit-and-run were to occur. The potential benefits will far outweigh the cost when you actually need to bring your insurance policy into play, so it is well worth the investment to add this coverage to your policy. It is always a good idea to obtain the maximum amount of coverage you can reasonably afford to give yourself the greatest amount of protection and peace of mind.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can provide protection for you if you are involved in a hit-and-run auto accident. The driver who causes the auto accident and leaves the scene will be considered to be an “uninsured motorist” under your insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage may provide much-needed protection in the event that you are hit by a driver who leaves the scene of the accident without providing identifying information.
Invest in a Dashcam
Car accidents can be traumatic, which can make it difficult to have the presence of mind to record a license plate number, especially if the other driver is speeding away from the scene of the accident. Without that license plate number, though, you could risk forfeiting your potential insurance payout, leaving you stuck paying your medical bills and the costs for repairing your vehicle out of your own pocket.
To make things easier for you, it is smart to install a dashcam in your vehicle. This way, you’ll have a detailed record of exactly what took place in the accident. In many cases, you’ll also be able to get a good look at the other driver’s vehicle and license plate for insurance purposes. With video footage, there will be no doubt as to what happened in the accident. You may wish to install a camera on the front of your house as well to capture any events on the street in front of your home in any event that a hit-and-run were to happen while your car is parked in front of your house.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging and frustrating. It is in their best interest to keep your settlement as low as possible, so getting fair compensation is not something you should expect when settling directly with an insurance company. When you work with a personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, you’ll have an experienced professional advocating on your behalf to get you the best results possible. This can make it much more likely that you will get the compensation you deserve for the damage to your vehicle, injuries you sustained, time off work, and any ongoing mental trauma.
At Andrew Pickett Law, we are proud to help our clients in a variety of accident cases, including hit-and-run auto accidents. We’ll work closely with you to determine the specific details of your case so that we can work with your insurance company to maximize your settlement. We invite you to reach out to our team today to discuss your case in greater detail. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.