In Pennsylvania, leaving the scene of a car accident is a very serious offense, and may come with criminal sentences for those convicted. However, criminal charges nor a conviction helps accident victims after a hit-and-run car accident. Even if the hit-and-run driver is found, it can take weeks or months to investigate the accident and determine the cause of the crash. In some cases, the driver that fled the scene is never found. So, what options do accident victims have to claim compensation if they are hit by a driver that leaves the scene?
No-Fault Insurance in Pennsylvania
All drivers in Pennsylvania have the option to purchase no-fault insurance. With this type of insurance, drivers must file a claim with their own insurer to secure compensation after an accident regardless of which driver was at fault. Drivers who purchased a no-fault policy when buying auto insurance can then file a claim with their own insurer after a hit-and-run accident.
Drivers that did not purchase no-fault insurance but instead full tort insurance must file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. However, when the negligent driver fled the scene, drivers with full tort insurance may have other options.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers that purchase uninsured motorist coverage at the time of obtaining insurance may use this insurance to claim compensation after a hit-and-run accident. This type of coverage is not required in Pennsylvania, but is very useful after a crash that involves an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver.
Medical Payments Coverage
Some policies allow for medical payments coverage, which is very useful to accident victims after a crash. This type of coverage is often available right away and can provide compensation for the medical expenses incurred after an accident. Not all policies have medical payments coverage, and it may not be available to accident victims that carry no-fault insurance.
There are some instances in which a driver is involved in an accident that was the fault of someone else but they are somewhat lucky. They escape without injury, but their vehicle needs repair. In these situations, collision coverage may be available that will pay for the damage to the vehicle if the other driver fled the scene. This coverage is also optional, and even when drivers purchase it, they often choose a high deductible in order to keep the cost low. Drivers must pay this deductible before receiving collision coverage.
Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers can Help with Your Hit-and-Run
The moments after a car crash are always confusing, but if you have been struck by a hit-and-run driver, these moments also add a level of frustration. Our Philadelphia auto accident lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin can help make sense of it all. We will review your insurance coverage to determine what options you have, conduct an investigation to find the at-fault driver and if necessary, hold them accountable for paying the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 to speak to one of our experienced attorneys.