What Classifies As A Hit And Run Accident In Alabama?
In Alabama, a hit and run, as far as I know from a legal perspective, is simply a matter of whether there was contact between two vehicles, regardless of the severity of the crash, and the driver of one vehicle leaves and does not make their identity known to either the other driver or the police; it’s as simple as that. There are times when there is a hit and run involved and the person who is left behind is hurt; in that situation, we call it a phantom vehicle, for insurance purposes, and you are actually eligible to make a claim on your uninsured motorist benefits for the phantom vehicle and their negligence.
What Are Some Common Misconceptions Regarding Hit and Run Accidents?
The most common misconception is that they cannot recover if they are involved in a hit and run; they believe that if they’re involved in a wreck and the person who hit and hurt them leaves the scene, they have no claim if they don’t find that person, which is not true. You can actually make a phantom vehicle claim on your own insurance under the uninsured motorist coverage, if the other person was at fault and you can still recover.
How Important Are Witnesses In a Hit and Run Accident Claim?
Witnesses are very important from a perspective of trying to figure out who hit you. Also remember, you still have to prove your claim, even if you don’t find the person, if you want to make a claim against your uninsured motorist benefits; you still have to prove it was their fault. Having witnesses or obtaining information to give to a police officer about exactly what happened and proving that it was the other person’s fault is just as important in a hit and run as if the other person was there.
How is Insurance Coverage Affected by An Uninsured Motorist or a Hit and Run Accident?
There is no legal requirement that an insurance company avoid raising your premiums as a result of insurance claims; people get upset about it, but the truth is, as a lawyer, if you make a claim, I have to tell my clients I cannot protect you from the potential that your insurance company will raise your premiums as a result of a claim. That said, I also tell my clients, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, is that it’s a very competitive market out there, and just because one company chooses to raise your premiums doesn’t mean that another company is not willing to quote you a rate that is the same as you had before.
When it comes to things as serious as personal injury, when you make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, in my humble opinion, it’s worth the potential for a higher premium when you have an opportunity to go out into the extremely competitive market for insurance companies and find one that will provide the same policy for the same price you had before.
Why Should I Use An Attorney For an Uninsured or a Hit and Run Accident Claim?
If the wreck is someone else’s fault and you have insurance, your attorney can still help you with an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim. Sometimes, those claims even turn into lawsuits because the insurance company refuses to pay because they either claim that the wreck was not the uninsured motorist’s fault, or they will say that the injuries or damages you’re claiming did not result from the accident that is the basis of the claim. So, you still need an attorney to seek those uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits just as though you were making a claim against the other party.
For more information on Hit And Run Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (205) 871-9990 today.
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