Hit and run accidents can leave victims in a lot of pain in the middle of very confusing and shocking situations. It is very jarring to be in a car accident, and it is frustrating to know that the person responsible simply fled the scene. If you have been in a hit and run accident, it is important that you understand your legal rights and what you can do to move forward with pursuit of compensation. You will need to get in contact with your personal auto insurance company, which may be Farmers, to secure a settlement. However, Farmers, like all insurance companies, is generally reluctant to pay for claims, especially those that can be covered by another party. If you need to sue Farmers for a hit and run accident, you can contact our firm, the Downtown LA Law Group. We will do everything in our power to secure you a fair settlement.
What happens in a hit and run accident?
A hit and run accident can happen anywhere at any time, but it is more likely to occur when there are few people around. A crowded highway or busy intersection will generally not have many hit and run accidents because it will be hard to escape – for one, the street will be congested, but the likelihood of someone positively identifying the license plate, make and model of the vehicle, and the driver is very high. Many hit and run accidents take place when it’s night time on deserted side streets, in parking lots, or on empty highways.
Often, hit and run accidents are the result of some kind of error or poor choice on behalf of the driver. He may have been speeding or not paying attention when he ran a stop sign or entered an intersection. He will not want to be around when the police come because he may have a warrant out for his arrest, or he may be driving with a suspended license, or he may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He may also not have any insurance, which could result in him having to pay the costs of the accident out of pocket. He may not have the funds to do that, so the safer option is to simply leave the scene. Getting into accidents also increases your insurance rates, may put points on your license, can incur fines and jail time, and more.
It is possible that you were left injured at a hit and run site. You may have suffered various injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Facial injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Herniated and slipped discs
- Hip and knee injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Puncture wounds
- Crushing injuries
- Severed digits and limbs
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
It is important that you do not panic after a hit and run accident. Your primary focus should be on your health. If you know that the other driver has fled, you should not immediately try to pursue him, especially if you were injured. It may be possible for you to receive full compensation from Farmers in lieu of the other driver’s overage.
How does Farmers cover hit and run accidents?
Farmers can cover its clients who were involved in hit and run accidents by providing uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is usually available for those who were involved in accidents with drivers who did not have any insurance coverage. As many as 1 in 8 drivers operate their vehicles with no insurance, which is illegal in the country. Uninsured motorist insurance protects those who drive by the law.
Hit and run accidents, therefore, are treated as if the other individual did not have any insurance. There is simply no opposing party used in the claim.
Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional policy that is offered by Farmers. California is not a state that requires its drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, but if the driver does elect to acquire it, it must match his other policy. For example, the minimum coverage required in California is $15,000 in bodily injury and $30,000 in bodily injury to multiple people, with $5,000 in property damage. The uninsured motorist coverage cannot be lower than those amounts.
Farmers offers other plans besides uninsured motorist coverage that may be equally as beneficial. For instance, full comprehensive and collision means that you will not have to worry about the damages done to your vehicle – your fault or not. The other party won’t even have to be held accountable; the insurance coverage will pay for the repairs. Similarly, personal injury protection can provide you with ample coverage in the event of an accident, again regardless of fault. Your own personal health insurance may also cover injuries. If you have sufficient collision insurance and health insurance from your job, you may not wish to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. However, if your private health insurance won’t pay out until other options have been used, you may find yourself in a tight spot with no one willing to take responsibility for the debts.
Does my Farmers car insurance cover property damage to my vehicle if I was involved in a hit and run accident?
You can purchase uninsured motorist insurance that protects your property, but it is not available everywhere. This policy addition often has a deductible that must be met before it kicks in. therefore, you will need to pay a certain amount before the remainder is covered by Farmers.
Your other option is to utilize your collision and comprehensive insurance. If you have this protection, you may not need to acquire uninsured motorist coverage for property damage.
Can my Farmers car insurance cover medical costs if I was involved in a hit and run accident?
Your Farmers car insurance can cover medical bills if you were in a hit and run accident. You will need uninsured motorist coverage to ensure that you are not unfairly billed. The trouble is getting Farmers to pay out a settlement from a hit and run accident. The company is geared towards protecting its profits and it is not likely to just agree to a hit and run settlement. It will insist that you find the responsible driver or it will claim that you were hurt in a separate incident that you caused. You will have to face some rejection and problems before you even see your deserved restitution. If the company behaves in bad faith, though, it is important that you sue and make sure they give you what you’re owed.
How can I sue Farmers for a hit and run accident settlement?
Suing Farmers requires you to have ample evidence on your side. You will not have a successful claim if you do not have sufficient proof of the hit and run accident. You should take these steps to ensure that you have the best chance of victory:
- First, go to the doctor for medical treatment. Do not delay going or you will worsen your injuries and you will cause the agent to doubt your claim.
- Keep copies of medical receipts, doctor’s notes, X-ray and MRI results, prescriptions, and more.
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, the scene of the crime, and more.
- Get copies of your insurance policy.
- Interview eyewitnesses who saw the incident happen, if any were present, and add their testimonies to your claim. They may not be able to identify the other driver, but they can support you stating that you were hit by a driver who fled the scene.
- File a police report and pick it up or request it from the station after it has been finalized.
- Acquire video or surveillance footage from a gated lot, business, dashboard camera, or other location if possible that can show the accident happening. This may be very difficult to acquire, though, but it is not a make-or-break piece of evidence.
Upon gathering all your evidence, you should search for an experienced hit and run lawyer in Los Angeles. We will be able to negotiate a deal with Farmers will you focus on recovering from your injuries. If you try to deal with the case yourself, it is likely that you will fail. You may not have any legal experience, which will be detrimental to your claim.
Our Firm’s Promise
The Downtown LA Law Group promises to work around the clock to bring you every penny you deserve for your case. Our lawyers are aggressive and do not give up until we are satisfied with the results. We will go to court if we have to in order to defend your rights in front of a judge and jury. We know how frustrating and scary it can be to get involved in a hit and run accident, and we want all of our clients to feel safe and protected when they come to our firm.
For a free legal consultation, call our law offices today. We will go over the details of the case with you and tell you what we think your claim is worth. We will also help you understand our zero fee guarantee, which says that you won’t have to pay a dime of your own money throughout the legal process. We get paid only if we win, and if we lose, we take no payment whatsoever.
To sue Farmers for a hit and run accident, get in touch with our attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group.