Insurance companies will try to do everything they can to preserve their profits and not pay out claims if they can help it. USAA is no different from any other insurance company; they will be reluctant to pay out claims in accidents where their clients are at fault, and even more reluctant if they must pay for a hit and run accident. Hit and run accidents can be extremely troublesome to suffer through due to the confusing nature and the sense of anger you feel afterwards. The lack of responsibility by the liable driver can completely alter your life and you may suddenly have numerous expenses and debts due to his actions. Our team of expert hit and run lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group can ensure that you are fairly paid by USAA if you were involved in a hit and run accident.
How do hit and run accidents happen?
Hit and run accidents usually occur at night time when there are few people on the streets who can witness the accident. The majority of hit and run accidents do not result in bodily injuries – the drivers may sideswipe parked cars or back up into other vehicles, for example. However, the hit and run accidents that do involve moving vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and others are exceptionally dangerous. If you are in a hit and run accident and you suffer injuries, the other driver may simply flee the scene immediately and not make any calls to the hospital or for an ambulance. You could simply be left to struggle and get help yourself or wait for someone else to pass by who can assist you.
Drivers may flee the scene of an accident for a few reasons. For one, they could have no insurance coverage at all – it is estimated that somewhere around 13 to 15% of drivers do not have any insurance coverage at all, and they fear being responsible for payments. If they get into an accident, they will be forced to pay out of pocket for the other person’s debts. Further, they may suffer a suspended license and an impounded vehicle. Additionally, the simple fear response could incite people to flee. If they do not have a chance of getting caught, they may simply leave the scene to avoid the ensuing debacle. They could also not want their own insurance rates to increase.
Some of the injuries that you can suffer in hit and run incidents include:
- Broken bones
- Strained and torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Facial damages
- Closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severed digits and limbs
These issues can be permanent, long-lasting, and severe. If you choose to pursue compensation because of a hit and run accident, you will need to file a claim with USAA.
<2>USAA’s Hit and Run Insurance Coverage
Most auto insurance companies have policies that offer protection to customers in the event of hit and run accidents. In some states, it is required for drivers to hold uninsured motorist coverage that matches the minimum for basic coverage. In California, basic coverage is $15,000 per bodily injury, $30,000 per bodily injury if there is more than one person injured, and $5,000 for damaged property. It is not required to have uninsured motorist coverage in California, though, which means that victims of hit and run accidents could be completely out of luck.
Uninsured motorist coverage is what is used to receive compensation in the event of a hit and run incident the insurance company treats the situation as if the other driver simply had no insurance. The uninsured motorist coverage can take on different forms and be paired with other plans in your life.
Can USAA uninsured motorist coverage pay me for property damage?
Uninsured motorist coverage can exist for property damage. It can pay off the repairs to your vehicle and fix other damaged property. However, this policy has a deductible on it – you must pay a certain amount out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. It is also an extra policy that can be added into your current plan. Some individuals may choose to not have it because they have comprehensive and collision, which protects their vehicle no matter who was at fault.
Does my USAA auto insurance cover my medical bills if I was involved in a hit and run accident?
In some states, you can acquire personal injury protection, which allows you to fully recover certain forms of compensation for your losses. You could receive coverage for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and more. However, this is not always an option. The uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries can be selected instead. This will allow you and any passengers in your car the ability to collect compensation if you are injured in a hit and run accident.
In some scenarios, your personal health care or health insurance can adequately cover the injuries you suffered. In other cases, your uninsured motorist coverage may be the better choice. Having options for your coverage allows you the ability to use what is best for you and your expenses.
USAA requires that you purchase the same amount of coverage for multiple vehicles under your plan. One vehicle cannot have less coverage due to it being older, worth less, more broken down, or other reasons.
How do I sue USAA for a hit and run accident?
It is required that auto insurance companies adhere to the policies they have with their customers. Many companies will try to avoid this, though, and not pay out compensation. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, you should be fairly paid in the event of a hit and run accident. If USAA does not act properly, you can take out a bad faith lawsuit against the company. The insurance agent may try to change a policy, deny your claim for no reason, offer you a ridiculously low sum, and more, all of which can be evidence of bad faith interactions.
To file a hit and run claim against USAA, you will need evidence of the lawsuit. Our first step will be to get medical treatment for your injuries. You should not hesitate to get treatment; the shorter the gap between the incident and the visit to the doctor, the better it is for your lawsuit and for your health. Delaying can only make the insurance agent more wary of the validity and it may worsen your injuries over time. It is also important that you get the medical notes, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, X-ray and MRI results, medical receipts, and more from the treatment.
You could have eyewitness reports added to your claim. There may have been other passengers in the car who were there for the hit and run accident, or individuals outside can have seen it. However, it is hard to identify speeding cars, especially older models. The benefit of having eyewitnesses on your claim lies in the burden of proof. The insurance agent can easily deny that you were even involved in such an incident, but another person who can corroborate your story can make or break your claim.
You should file a police report to get the additional legal information where you can. It will also allow the police to be on the lookout for the responsible individual. You will be able to ask for a finalized copy of the report once it has been submitted to the police station.
Finally, we recommend finding a hit and run accident attorney in Los Angeles who can help you sue USAA. It is not easy to win a claim against such a large insurance company, especially if you have not taken legal action before. We will hire expert witnesses to testify and we will negotiate a fair deal with the agent so that you don’t have to. You should focus on recovering from any injuries you had while we take care of the legal process.
How long do I have to sue USAA for a hit and run claim?
California has a statute of limitations of 2 years from the date of the injury. If you don’t sue within that time frame, you won’t be able to collect restitution at all. You should move quickly so your evidence is preserved and you run risks of missing out on the deadline.
Too often, individuals fail to file their claims on time. If you speak with an attorney, you will not have to worry about any deadlines or missing the time periods. We are punctual and will ensure that your case is where it needs to be.
Why Select Us
The Downtown LA Law Group has a number of expert hit and run accident attorneys. Our Los Angeles firm is renowned for its success and for always dedicating ourselves fully to our clients. We know the best methods for success and will stop at nothing to win cases. To learn more in a free legal consultation, feel free to contact our firm. We will answer all your questions and help you determine the value of your hit and run case. If you hire us to represent you, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee. This means we don’t get paid unless and until we win, and if we lose, you owe us nothing.
Let the Downtown LA Law Group help you with your hit and run claim against USAA.