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Recovering Damages After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident in Texas are legally required to stop at or near the scene of the incident. Among other requirements, the drivers must exchange insurance information and, in some cases, report the accident to the authorities. Unfortunately, some people ignore the law and simply drive off after an accident. This is commonly known as a “hit-and-run,” and can leave the injured party unable to sue the responsible driver for negligence.

Generally, the driver at fault for an accident is responsible for the damages the victim suffers, including medical costs and lost wages. Most often these are paid through the driver’s auto liability insurance policy. However, in a hit-and-run situation, the other driver often cannot be identified and may not have auto insurance. This is where an Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) policy comes into play.

Car owners can purchase UM policies in addition to auto liability coverage. UM pays the driver’s (and passengers’) medical bills and property damages in the event that the person at fault has no insurance or cannot be identified/located, as is the case in hit-and-runs.

Without UM coverage, a driver can be left responsible for his/her own costs and expenses after a hit-and-run. Some people may think they don’t need UM as they have comprehensive coverage that pays for auto repairs regardless of the circumstances of the accident, but while this may be true, comprehensive coverage does not apply to medical expenses. Hospital and doctor bills can be enormous. Even those who have excellent healthcare insurance might still get stuck with out of pocket costs that would otherwise be covered by uninsured motorist insurance.

In the event that you are involved in an accident and the other driver flees the scene before you can get their insurance or contact information, you may be left without proper coverage for your injuries. Should the police be unable to identify the person who left the scene, you can only look to your own insurance policy for reimbursement. Uninsured motorist insurance could make the difference between paying out of pocket for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident and having adequate coverage that allows you to move forward after an injury.

 Leland Reinhard Law Firm in Cleburne, Texas is a full service Texas personal injury law firm. I work diligently to secure the maximum recovery of money damages for each client. If you or a family member has been involved in a hit-and-run accident, feel free to contact me or call 817-645-5400 for an initial consultation.