Does Uninsured Driver Coverage Apply in a Hit and Run Accident?
I was sitting at a red light and was hit from behind. My window was open and my radio off and I heard no squealing of brakes. I did, by chance, look into my rear view mirror and saw the truck coming fast and realized it was going to hit me hard, but there was nowhere for me to go.
The truck slammed into me, shoving me under the SUV in front of me and shoving both of us into the car in front of her. The truck then fled the scene. A witness got a partial plate number but not enough for the police to pursue the driver.
I suffered whiplash and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The X-rays and CAT Scan revealed no broken bones, but I have been to the chiropractor many times and will continue to go for some weeks for pain and soft tissue damage.
I lost almost an entire week of work and spent most of that time recovering, unable to do my daily activities. I am now back at work, but still require pain medication and ice therapy for pain.
I do have the Uninsured Driver coverage on my policy. My insurance company is offering a settlement of less than $8,000 for the value of the car and up to $5,000 in medical costs. This doesn't seem adequate.
What are my chances of getting more from my own insurance company? If there is any advice you can give I would appreciate it. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Does Uninsured Driver Coverage Apply in a Hit and Run Accident?":
The facts you present tell us the amount of the insurance offer, but not the amount of your medical bills (often referred to as “Hard Costs”). Without knowing the amount of your medical bills it is very difficult to tell if the insurance offer of $5,000.00 is fair.
You would be safe though in taking your present medical bills - not the future Chiropractic and related bills - and multiplying them by three. That would be a good starting point. So if your medical bills to date are $5,000.00, it would not be unreasonable to demand $15,000.00 + the amount of a week's lost wages from your insurance company. The additional $10,000.00 is meant to apply to the pain and sufering you have already endured and any future pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, medications and the like.
The value of the car is determined by a separate process, and often by a separate Claims Adjuster from your insurance company. If the insurance company offered you $8,000.00 for the value of your car that means they probably referred to the Kelley Blue Book amount of your car.
If the Kelly Blue Book value was $8,000.00 then you are receiving a fair offer. When it comes to automobile damage there is no multiplication. It is usually dollar for dollar, whether for repairs or to pay for the existing value of your car. The $8,000.00 offer means it would have cost the insurance company more than $8,000.00 to repair the vehicle. When that happens they reserve the right to buy your car. When they buy it they will pay you $8,000.00 and take your car, or if you choose to keep your car they will offer somewhat less.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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