- Andrew Littlejohn Johnson
Should You Chase Down a Hit-and-Run Driver?
If you’ve been injured by a driver who flees the scene of the accident, it can leave you feeling particularly vulnerable, and you may wonder whether giving chase might help. In a situation this challenging, however, it’s important to focus on your recovery while allowing the police and your dedicated Columbia car accident attorney to do their jobs – in support of your rights and best interests.
An Important Note about Hit-and-Run Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the following in relation to hit-and-run accidents on our roadways:
While we drove 11 percent fewer total miles in 2020, fatal hit-and-run accidents rose by a full 26 percent.
Motorists who flee the scene of an accident are often attempting to hide something, including impaired driving, which increased by 14 percent in 2020 (NHTSA).
While this is disheartening news, it's important to also recognize that hit-and-runs in today’s world are far more likely to lead to concrete evidence in the form of photos and videos taken by the occupants of other vehicles. While chasing down a hit-and-run driver is a terrible idea in terms of your own safety and well-being, this doesn’t mean that the at-fault driver will not be held responsible for their negligence.
Your Own Insurance Coverage
You’ve been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, and in the meantime, you’re watching your medical bills mount. While you may not be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, you do have coverage of your own you can tap into. South Carolina drivers are required to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) insurance, which also covers losses related to motorists who hit and run. Your UM coverage will address your necessary medical expenses and property damage to your vehicle.
Additionally, you may have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage – which you must have refused in writing if you chose not to purchase it when you bought car insurance. PIP is no-fault coverage that is designed to expedite the process – regardless of who is at fault – and should kick in by covering your medical costs while your UM claim is pending.
The Insurance Company
While the police investigate the hit-and-run accident that caused you to be injured, your claim will proceed through your UM and PIP coverage, but it's important to note that – even though this is your own coverage – the insurance company will do what it can to keep its profits high and your settlement low. Leaving your claim in the capable hands of your car accident attorney is always well-advised.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Columbia, SC, Car Accident Attorney Today
Andrew Littlejohn Johnson at Littlejohn Law – proudly serving Columbia in Richland County along with Allendale, Jasper, Orangeburg, and Hampton, South Carolina – is a savvy car accident attorney with a wealth of experience skillfully guiding challenging claims related to hit-and-run accidents toward advantageous outcomes. We’re here to help, so please don’t wait to contact or call us at 803-764-4099 for more information today.