If someone hits your vehicle, the law mandates he or she should stay at the site of the crash. However, many individuals risk breaking the law by abandoning the crash scene and leaving any injured motorist behind. What do you do in such a difficult situation? Our Charlotte car accident lawyers at Dewey, Ramsay, & Hunt, have prepared the following article to provide you with information regarding things you should do after experiencing a hit and run.
Steps You Should Take After Someone Hits Your Car and Leaves
Knowing what to do after you have been hit and left at the scene, can place you in a better position for recovery. Here are some of the things you should do if your car gets hit and the responsible party flees the scene.
Report the Accident
Once medically cleared, report the accident to the police. An officer will show up at the crash scene and conduct an investigation. Insurance companies often require the official accident report prepared by the officer as part of their insurance claim process. Make sure you keep a copy of the report along with all other relevant information such as photographic evidence of the crash.
Get Medical Attention
If you are hit by another driver and sustained head injuries, back injuries, or other bodily injuries, call 9-1-1. Getting checked by a healthcare professional can help you avoid any further health complications. You can proceed to the next set of steps after being assessed by a healthcare professional.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible. Many insurance companies may require their clients to report the accident within an allotted timeframe – usually 24 hours from the time of the crash. While this is true for some companies, it may not preclude you from filing a claim later on. Therefore, the sooner you act and report your accident, the fewer hurdles you’ll face in your insurance claim process.
Will My Insurance Cover My Expenses?
North Carolina is an at-fault state. This means the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for your injuries and losses. Whether you will be covered for medical expenses and property damage will depend on your type of insurance policy.
The state of North Carolina requires all drivers to have liability insurance. This liability insurance helps you pay for any injuries and property damage you cause. North Carolina also requires every policy to have UM coverage equal to the liability coverage purchased by the insured. The UM policy – or uninsured motorist coverage – may cover you if you were involved in a hit-and-run car crash. The minimum liability coverage limits you are obligated to have are the following:
- $30,000 for bodily injury, per person, per accident
- $60,000 for bodily injury to more than two people
- $25,000 for property damage
However, all drivers have the right to buy additional coverage. These policies will cover you in the event of an accident. For instance, medical payment coverage or Med Pay reimburses the insured motorist for all necessary and reasonable medical expenses stemming from a car accident regardless of who’s at fault, up to the limits purchased by the insured. This insurance also provides coverage for funeral expenses in the event of wrongful death. It is essential to keep in mind these policies have their own set of rules and exclusions. Therefore, you should make sure to follow all rules established on the policy. Additionally, you can buy a collision insurance policy. This insurance is used to repair any damage your vehicle sustains during a car accident.
How Long Do I Have to File an Insurance Claim in North Carolina?
The amount of time you have to file your insurance claim will depend on the statute of limitations set forth by state law. The statute of limitations works as a legal clock determining when do your time to file a claim starts and ends. For instance, filing a claim for wrongful death has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the decedent’s death. On the other hand, if you are filing a personal injury claim, you have three years from the moment you were injured. Despite the statute of limitations, you should always be mindful of the amount of time you have to report your claim as described concerning your insurance policy.
Charlotte Car Accident Attorneys Handling Insurance Claims in North Carolina
Going through the entire insurance claim process after a hit and run can be confusing and complicated. The situation can be more stressful if you sustained a severe injury during the accident. At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, we understand the difficulties associated with the aftermath of a car accident. Let our skills and experience work for you during this trying time. Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys will fight aggressively to obtain the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your potential claim in a free, confidential consultation, our law offices at (704) 377-3737 today.