I was in a hit and run accident and got the plate number... what do I do now?

by Alex
(Chicago, IL)

I was stopped in traffic and the car behind me hit me, projecting my vehicle into the car in front of me. I got out of the car and this guy went by like nothing happened. I took his plate number and called 911. I had to go to the hospital because I had a pain in my back.

I called my auto insurance company, but I only have liability coverage and they told me that they need the other guy's information to be able to give me something. I don't have any other type of insurance and I can not afford to pay the hospital bills. Now I can't even work because of the back pain I still have!

I don't know what to do. What action can I take at this point? Any information you can give would be helpful. Thanks!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "I was in a hit and run accident and got the plate number... what do I do now?":

Alex (Chicago, IL):

If at the time of the crash you only carried liability insurance, then your insurance company isn't required to pay you any amount. Liability coverage is intended to cover injuries and property damage sustained by another driver in a car accident, and not for your injuries or your property damage.

In the alternative, if in addition to liability coverage you also carried underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, then your insurance company should pay you at least the amount of money to cover your medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and depending upon your coverage, an amount for your pain and suffering.

This type of claim is referred to as a first party claim. A first party claim occurs when a driver files with her own insurance company for injuries and/or property damage she sustained in a crash. This is opposed to a "third party" claim, where a driver files an injury or property damage claim with another driver's insurance company.

Review your insurance policy. See if you carried uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or PIP. If so, your insurance company should pay you, as long as you can confirm there was a car accident and your injuries were sustained in that accident. This can be readily confirmed by submitting a copy of the police accident report to your insurance company.

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,

Judge Calisi

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