A “hit and run” is an accident where an unidentified driver hits another vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist, or property. The driver leaves the scene right after the crash, leaving everyone unable to identify the driver or whether he or she has insurance coverage. Hit and run accidents also include situations where someone hits your parked car and does not leave any identifying information.
Hit and Run Accidents and Insurance
In most situations,ICBC will provide insurance coverage if you are the victim of a hit and run accident. ICBC offers up to $200,000 in coverage to address injuries and property damage from a hit and run incident. It will also generally cover losses such as:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Weekly disability payments
- Rehabilitation or special training required after the accident
- Death benefits and funeral expenses
- Property damage
Under ICBC’s policy, you will usually pay the first $750 in repairs after a hit and run accident. This is true even if your regular deductible is actually higher for other types of accidents. There is no deductible for injuries after a hit and run accident. Thankfully, your insurance rate will not be affected by a hit and run accident.
If you have another type of insurance, coverage and rates will vary. It is important to read your policy closely to determine your rights.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
Your health and safety should always be your priority. If you have been injured in the hit and run accident, seek medical attention immediately. You should also take the following steps after this type of accident.
- Try to Identify the Driver
You should do everything you can to try to identify the driver after a hit and run. This might be impossible if you were not present for the accident. However, the place where your vehicle was parked may have had cameras or other surveillance when the accident occurred. If your car was parked at a business, ask the employees or owner if they saw the crash or have parking lot monitoring.
If you were present during the accident, try to get a good look at the license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle. If it is a severe accident, authorities may be able to identify the car later based on your description and whether it is damaged. Take note of which direction the vehicle is heading as well. Call the police immediately once you realize the driver is leaving, and provide whatever information you have about the car or the driver.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
ICBC has a Dial-a-Claim number. If you have another insurance company, contact that claims reporting line. Keep in mind that there may be time requirements in which to make a claim, so it is a good idea to contact your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Obtain a Police Report
You should get a police report after a hit and run accident. The police report will confirm that it was, in fact, a hit and run and allow the police to gather and report all of the information you have about the other driver. It is a good idea to obtain a police report within 24 hours of the incident, but reporting requirements for hit and run accidents may vary in your local area.
- Work with Your Insurance Company to Repair Your Vehicle
The ICBC may have you go to a c.a.r. shop VALET facility for an immediate estimate. Otherwise, follow your insurance company’s procedures to get the repair process started.
Call an Experienced Hit-And-Run Lawyer for Help
If you have any trouble working with your insurance company after this type of accident, it may be a good idea to call a personal injury lawyer. The team at Diamond & Diamond can help. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak with a representative now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.