Legal Recourse for Victims of Hit and Run Accidents

Legal Recourse for Victims of Hit and Run Accidents

Car accidents produce millions of preventable injuries and thousands of deaths every year. In one recent year, there were 1,059 lives lost in car accidents in Pennsylvania

Typically, when a car accident happens, a victim can file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim with the insurance company of the negligent, at-fault party who caused the accident. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to make it difficult to obtain the full amount of compensation owed. This is where a Pennsylvania automobile accident attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP can assist. The legal team at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP has the resources and experience to handle communications with insurance adjusters and help car accident victims obtain fair compensation for their damages.

Though, when a hit-and-run accident happens, exchanging information, including insurance information with another driver is not possible. This begs the question, what legal recourse does a victim of a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania have?

What to Do After a Hit-And-Run Accident in Pennsylvania

Legal Recourse for Victims of Hit and Run AccidentsWhen a personal injury claim is filed after a car accident, it is possible to include economic damages such as the cost of medical treatment or the expenses that result from car repair bills. Non-economic costs like pain and suffering, for instance, can also be calculated into the value of a claim. And every now and then, a claim may result in punitive damages which is an extra amount of compensation as a punishment for particularly egregious behavior.

When a hit-and-run accident happens, victims still sustain damages that must be recouped. The driver that caused the accident and fled is responsible for not only causing the accident but paying the victim their damages.

Pennsylvania’s car accident laws require that insurance and contact information be shared between drivers after a crash. However, this can’t be done when a hit-and-run happens. Not to mention, it is illegal to leave an accident scene and so someone who does can face criminal penalties if they are caught.

A police investigation after a hit-and-run may turn up the individual that caused the accident. If this happens, a driver who was harmed may take legal action against the person by both pressing criminal charges and filing a lawsuit against them to recover their financial losses.

When the driver is not found, a victim of a hit-and-run will have to file a claim with their own insurance, that is, if they have uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is optional which is why it is so critical that when purchasing car insurance coverage, including supplemental coverage in one’s package, like uninsured motorist insurance, is essential.

According to the AAA, hit-and-run accidents are at an all-time high, meaning, it is very possible you could be the victim of one when you head out in your vehicle. Knowing what your rights are and what to do is critical.

Speak with an Attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP

Even if it turns out that you have to file a claim against your insurance provider, don’t expect the adjuster to be easier to work with or more willing to pay for your damages just because it is your own coverage. Insurance adjusters are the same whether it is another driver’s coverage or your own. They are trained and skilled in trying to deny claims or pay victims as little as possible.

An attorney can help you manage interactions with the insurance adjuster and assist you in getting everything you are owed from your claim. Call Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP today to schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia car accident attorney at (215) 731-9900.


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