Although they are less common than other types of accidents, hit-and-run accidents still pose a real and serious threat to drivers in Wisconsin. To make matters worse, the process of pursuing compensation for these crashes can be both complex and frustrating. Thankfully, there are some ways to reduce the stress and confusion of a hit-and-run accident claim.
When the Accident Happens
One of the biggest challenges in a hit-and-run accident is proving that the accident was the result of another driver. Insurance companies often try to write these crashes off as fraudulent claims and may attempt to deny it, based on that assumption. As such, it is crucial that you take the time to file a police report while still at the scene of the accident. Gather statements from witnesses, and be sure to get their names, addresses, and phone numbers; they can help validate your claim.
Hit-and-run accident victims are also encouraged to take photographs of the accident scene, and any damage to their vehicle. If you have visible bruises, lacerations, or contusions, it may be a good idea to take photographs of those as well. Above all, make sure you visit a qualified health professional after the accident has occurred; this also serves as documentation for your claim.
Types of Compensation in a Hit-and-Run Accident
Although each insurance company is unique, with its own rules and regulations, it can be difficult to determine exactly what kind of compensation you may be owed. However, some common types of damages are often covered in hit-and-run accident claims, including those pertaining to:
- Your medical bills and expenses,
- Any lost income caused by the accident,
- Damage to your vehicle, and
- Ambulance fees.
Special Hit-and-Run Circumstances
Most people define hit-and-run and run accidents as an actual collision with another vehicle. This is not always the case. An accident may also be classified as a hit-and-run if another driver forces you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. One example might include an oncoming vehicle entering your lane, which might force you to swerve outside your own lane to avoid a collision. If in that attempt, you lose control of your vehicle and hit another driver, telephone pole, or another object, the hit-and-run driver may be considered at-fault.
Pursuing Your Hit-and-Run Accident Claim
Ideally, losses from the accident would be covered by the insurance of the at-fault driver. Of course, this means they must be located. In the best scenario, the driver would voluntarily turn themselves in, but even if they do not, information gathered from witnesses could lead to an identification of the at-fault driver. The police may also be able to assist with an investigation. If, after all efforts have been exhausted, the other driver has not been found, the victim may attempt to seek compensation from their own insurance.
While all accident claims are time-sensitive, those involving a hit-and-run driver are often more so. In fact, Wisconsin only gives you three years to settle your case. That includes the time that it takes to locate the other driver. As such, it is important that you notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible, and seek immediate legal assistance with your claim. Able to protect your rights and assist you with the claims process, a personal injury attorney is an invaluable ally when going up against the insurance company.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we understand the difficulties that victims face after a hit-and-run accident. Compassionate and experienced, we fight for the most favorable outcome possible in every situation. Learn more about how our Green Bay hit-and-run accident lawyers can assist with your claim. Call 920-739-7366 and schedule your consultation with us today.