What rights do victims have after a hit-and-run accident?
Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 21, 2014 in Car Accidents
Immediately after a car accident, drivers should remain at the scene of an accident even if they are considered at fault. Not only is this a responsible move, it is also required by Connecticut law. Despite this fact, some drivers make the unfortunate decision to leave the scene of a crash to avoid responsibility.
Of course, if the hit-and-run driver is later identified and located, that individual could face both criminal and civil repercussions. The reality of the situation is that drivers who flee the scene of an accident aren’t always located. If this is the case, then it's understandable that accident victims may not know where to turn.
Medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain will all add up regardless of whether or not an at-fault driver decides to remain at the scene of a Waterbury car crash. As such, victims may need to pursue options to recover damages. Interestingly enough, an accident victim's auto insurance policy could provide the necessary support.
According to the Connecticut Insurance Department, drivers licensed by the state must have a valid auto insurance policy that includes uninsured driver coverage. Thankfully, coverage for uninsured drivers can also be extended to hit-and-run accidents. Legally, policies must cover at least $20,000 per victim and $40,000 for each accident.
It may come as a great relief to know that state law mandates coverage for hit-and-run accidents in auto insurance policies. On the other hand, this legal requirement doesn't change the fact that insurers can be very difficult to deal with. When it comes down to it, insurance companies are a business and will aim to protect their financial bottom lines. As a result, accident victims may be offered the smallest possible settlement, which ultimately may not cover all of the damages caused by a hit-and-run accident.
This post shouldn't be considered specific legal advice due to the unique aspects of every accident. In order to be provided with more clarity, it may be best to retain the services of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Source: Connecticut Insurance Department, "Automobile Coverage Information," accessed June 20, 2014