Hit and run accidents are some of the most troubling scenarios to endure. Generally, car accidents can leave you shocked and frustrated, even injured but there is usually a party at fault that you can seek compensation from. In hit and run accidents, you are suddenly left alone with no potential way to get paid for your damages. All of the responsibility will fall on your shoulders. Fortunately, insurance companies do offer policies to counter these situations. American Family is one such insurance company that can provide hit and run coverage to its clients, but this is sometimes hard to acquire. The insurance company generally wants to preserve its profits and not pay out claims when it can help it.
If you have been denied a claim by American Family and you feel that it is the wrong decision, come to our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, for more assistance.
Hit and Run Accident Details and Information
Hit and run accidents happen because someone flees the scene of the crash. Often, they happen at night time on relatively deserted streets or in empty parking lots. They are less likely to be identified and found when there are little to no witnesses nearby. Hit and run incidents usually don’t happen in broad daylight in busy areas or on congested highways; there are too many people who can see the license plate number or other details.
Drivers may flee the scene of an accident for many reasons. They could be driving without insurance, and stopping would mean that they are now tasked with paying for all the expenses and debts out of their own pockets. As many as 1 in 8 drivers do not have insurance, which is legally required across the country. If they do not have the funds, they see fleeing as a more valid and reasonable option. Further, they may be driving with a suspended license or with a warrant out for their arrest. If they are caught, they could face dire consequences. Also, it is common for drunk drivers to be involved in hit and run accidents. They may believe that they are sober enough to drive only to crash into someone else, which immediately brings their full attention back to the road. Instead of facing potential criminal charges, fines, and jail time, they will simply flee the site of the accident.
Hit and run accidents may result in various injuries. These injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Herniated and slipped discs
- Hip and knee injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Facial injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Severed digits and limbs
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Crushing injuries
One of the reasons hit and run accidents are so dangerous is that there is usually no one there to call the ambulance if you are hit. The driver who left the scene probably did not stop to see if you were uninjured, and if you were hurt, you may have to try and call 911 yourself. This can lead to serious issues and a list of injuries that may have worsened due to a lack of speedy treatment.
American Family Insurance Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents
American Family, like many other insurance companies, does offer insurance coverage for those who are involved in hit and run accidents. Uninsured motorist coverage will protect you in the event a driver hits you but he does not have any insurance. Hit and run accidents invoke this policy; because there is no person, there is also no insurance, so the company will cover the claim. Uninsured motorist coverage is not a required purchase in California. California does require that all drivers purchase insurance coverage of a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury, $30,000 in bodily injury to numerous parties, and $5,000 in property damage. It is recommended to acquire uninsured motorist coverage that matches your other selection.There are alternatives available to uninsured motorist coverage. One is personal injury protection, which allows you to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. There is also comprehensive collision coverage, which will take care of the damages to your vehicle regardless of who was at fault. This generally has a deductible, though, and requires you to pay a certain amount before insurance covers the rest. Some individuals may choose to let their private health insurance cover their injuries instead of a personal injury protection plan. They may have a good plan offered through their jobs and it is more prudent to use that. However, this often has a deductible, unlike uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Does my American Family car insurance cover my medical costs if I was involved in a hit and run accident?
Your American Family car insurance can cover your medical bills if you have it selected as a part of your plan. You will be unable to secure uninsured motorist coverage after an accident and use it to pay for the incident from the past. It is important to know what your policy consists of – if you don’t have such coverage, getting compensation will be nearly impossible. It will still be a difficult route to take even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, however. The simple truth is that American Family is an insurance company and it does not want to lose money, so it will not pay out just any claim, and especially not those that can be attributed to the fault of other drivers. Hit and run cases may result in the insurance agents saying that you should continue to seek out the other driver. Of course, this is an act of bad faith, as is making an extremely low offer, rejecting your claim for no reason, changing policy details, and more.
How can I sue American Family for a hit and run accident?
To sue American Family for a hit and run accident, you must have all the evidence possible showing that you were left at the scene of an accident by someone and that you have specific coverage for this scenario. The evidence can be gathered from the instant that you are in the accident. You should follow these steps to ensure success:
It is important that you go to the doctor to get medical treatment. You should not wait too long between the incident and our visit to a medical center. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your injuries will worsen, but it will also make the insurance agent doubt the level of damage you suffered.
You should keep records from the treatment, like hospital receipts, prescriptions, X-ray and MRI results, doctor’s notes, and more.
You will need photos of your injuries, pictures of the scene of the accident, proof of the damage done to your vehicle, an estimate from a mechanic, and more. If possible, you should acquire videos showing that you were hit by another driver. These videos may show the car but not the license plate, or the driver may have obscured the license in some way. You could get these videos from security cameras from gated parking lots or from commercial businesses.
If there were any eyewitnesses nearby who saw the accident happen, you can request their testimonies and statements for your claim. It will benefit you if you have numerous other parties supporting your perspective.
Finally, it is highly recommended that you seek out a skilled lawyer with experience in hit and run lawsuits. You may not have any legal experience on your side and you may not be able to get any necessary evidence. Our lawyers will hire expert witnesses and compile your proof for you to submit to American Family. We will write the demand letter and negotiate a fair deal while you focus on recovering and returning to a normal life.
How long do I have to sue American Family for a hit and run claim?
California has a 2-year limit on personal injury lawsuits. Failure to file a claim within this time period means that you will not have the ability to collect compensation in the future. It is important that you act quickly and keep your evidence preserved so that you have the best chance of success with your claim.
How We Help
The Downtown LA Law Group is one of the premier law firms in Los Angeles. We know how to effectively win your case and we will stop at nothing to ensure you a fair settlement. Our aggressive lawyers have gone to court numerous times for those involved in hit and run accidents and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars over the years.
To schedule a free legal consultation, call our law firm today. We will go over the legal process and tell you how much we believe your claim is worth. We will also give you more details on our zero fee guarantee. This is a promise that you won’t have to spend any money on your claim – we will cover the costs, and if we win, we are reimbursed by the settlement from American Family. If we lose, we take no payment at all.
For the best hit and run accident attorneys to sue American Family, contact the Downtown LA Law Group.