If I Was Involved in a Hit and Run,
Do I Still Have a Case?
In a hit-and-run collision, someone leaves the scene of the accident to avoid involvement. In most cases, it’s the people who cause the crash who leave the scene, and that leaves those injured in their wake left to find compensation for their injuries on their own. The Fiscal Year 2021 report by the Kentucky State Police stated that 10,631 hit-and-run collisions occurred in the Commonwealth which resulted in 967 injured individuals and 28 fatalities. If you have been injured by a driver in a hit and run, you might be wondering if you can pursue a claim—or if you are simply out of luck.
At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, we represent victims of hit-and-run accidents in Elizabethtown, Shepherdsville, Radcliff, Louisville, and the rest of Kentucky. There are ways to find compensation for your injuries after a hit-and-run. Reach out to our team to get started.
Does Fault Matter in Kentucky
Even though Kentucky is a no-fault state for auto insurance, fault does matter. However, as a no-fault state, you must first use your own insurance coverage before making a claim against the bodily injury liability coverage of an at-fault driver, even if that driver remained at the scene.
Kentucky law requires drivers to have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage. Following a crash, you must first exhaust your own PIP benefits to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses. PIP coverage is accessible no matter who is at fault for the crash.
In normal circumstances, if your expenses exceed your PIP coverage limits or sustain severe or permanent injuries, you would be able to file a third-party liability claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy in an effort to garner enough compensation to make you whole. In a hit and run, you will need to file a first-party claim against your own policy.
Does My Uninsured Motorist
Coverage Compensate Me?
In addition to required PIP coverage, Kentucky auto policies must also include at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage. Because you don’t know who the at-fault party is in a hit and run, you assert a first-party claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage just like you would if the at-fault driver stayed at the scene but didn’t have insurance.
Filing a claim after a hit and run, even if that claim is against your own coverage, does not mean your insurance company will just write you a check for policy limits. As with any claim, you will need to provide evidence that your injuries and damages rise to the level of your policy limits. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you document the proof you need.
What Should I Do After a Hit and Run?
There are several steps you can take after a hit and run to protect yourself and your claim:
Get to a safe place if you can. Stay off the roadway and even off the shoulder if possible to protect yourself from getting hit by other drivers who come upon the scene.
For your own safety, never attempt to pursue the driver fleeing.
Do note as much information about the fleeing driver and vehicle as you can. For example, note the vehicle make, model, color, and any markings like tinted windows, dents, loose or missing bumpers and mirrors, and other distinguishing features. Get the license plate state of issue and number if you can. If you have time, take a photo with your phone from a safe distance.
If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information.
Dial 911 so the appropriate law enforcement and emergency responders are dispatched to the scene. If you are unable to call, ask a bystander to do so.
Seek immediate medical attention, even if you aren’t sure if you are injured or believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries are masked by adrenaline and others are not readily apparent, so seek an examination and diagnostic testing by an emergency physician.
Notify your auto insurance carrier so a claim number can be assigned and you can begin to access your PIP benefits.
Call an experienced team of car accident attorneys like Caleb Bland Law, PLLC.
Getting the Skilled Legal Support You Need
It’s not an easy process to file a first-party claim against your own insurance company. Your insurance company is as concerned about its profits as the insurer of the at-fault driver would be. Your best opportunity for maximum compensation is working with a personal injury attorney who knows how to handle claims resulting from hit-and-run incidents and who will have only your best interests at heart.
If you have been injured in a hit and run in Elizabethtown or elsewhere in Kentucky, including Hodgenville, Louisville, Hardin County, Meade County, or Grayson County, call Caleb Bland Law, PLLC to schedule a one-on-one case consultation.