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Are you out of luck with a hit-and-run driver?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2017 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car crashes can, and do, cause all manner of injuries to the spine, neck, back, brain and other areas. In many cases, they also lead to emotional and mental issues. For example, someone who was hit by a car and needed to have a leg amputated could be dealing with depression and grief over the loss, plus lost income from work. Both drivers’ insurance companies are avenues to turn to for help offsetting these costs, but what if the driver in your case is a hit-and-a driver?

Are you just plain out of luck then? The answer, generally, is no. You should have options.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Illinois requires its drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and it helps in cases of hit-and-run drivers who cannot be identified. However, if you purchase optional policies for comprehensive insurance, medical payments, collision insurance and uninsured property damage, you are in an even better position after a crash. Your health insurance, too, if you have it, may help with medical costs, and your attorney can negotiate with your health care provider to delay payment until a case for compensation is resolved.

Miss and run

One important thing to touch on is whether an accident was a hit and run or if it could have been a miss and run. A hit and run involves physical contact while a miss and run does not. One example of a miss and run would be when you are driving down a road and notice a car is in your lane and heading toward you (perhaps the driver leaned down to retrieve a paper that fell from the passenger seat). To avoid crashing into the car, you swerve and hit a tree. The other driver continues on.

In this scenario, there has been no physical contact between your car and the other driver’s car, and many insurance policies in Illinois require physical contact to have happened. In large part, this is so insurance companies know there were actually two parties involved and that one driver is not making up a story to cover his or her own negligence.