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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Hurt in a hit-and-run accident? Who pays for your injuries?

The number of uninsured motorists in the Los Angeles area is rising. State officials say the number of uninsured drivers rises with unemployment. In 2007, about 18% of California drivers were uninsured. At that time, the state unemployment rate was only 5.4%. Currently, California’s unemployment rate is 12%
 
When there is a high number of uninsured drivers on the road, the number of car accidents involving uninsured drivers increases. The number of hit-and-run accidents also increases as drivers try to avoid the legal consequences of driving without insurance. 
 
Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law.  If caught, hit-and-run drivers face arrest or heavy fines, and they may lose their job or their driving privileges. 
 
Any car accident is a traumatic event.  But, a car accident caused by a hit-and-run driver is not just traumatic; it can also be financially devastating. Since you cannot obtain insurance information for the driver that is at fault, you may be wondering how you will pay for your medical care and property damage.
 
What happens if you are hit by an uninsured driver? Who pays the damages if the at-fault driver leaves the scene?
 
California law requires all drivers to have auto insurance. California law also requires that insurance policies include coverage for injuries, death and damage from accidents caused by uninsured drivers. However, having uninsured driver benefits on your insurance policy doesn’t guarantee that your costs will be covered if you are in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver.
 
In these cases, you can make uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance policy. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will pay for damages only if you can identify the other vehicle's license plate number. But, of course, getting a license plate number is not the first thing that victims think of after an accident.  Police advise against chasing after a hit-and-run driver as the driver may feel threatened and get aggressive.  And, this may be impossible to do if you are seriously injured.
 
Here are six simple steps that can help your claim.
 
1. Obtain as many names, addresses, and telephone numbers of witnesses as possible
2. Call the police and report the accident immediately
3. Get a copy of the accident report
4. Be seen at the emergency room
5. Keep bills and receipts for all medical costs and repairs
6. See an attorney
 
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Insurance companies will try to use the fine print in your insurance contract to reject or devalue your case. An attorney who specializes in car crashes will be able to negotiate with the insurance company and provide the necessary documentation to get you the compensation you need to cover all the costs incurred in the accident.
 
If you or a loved one was involved in a hit-and-run accident and you are having difficulties getting full insurance coverage for the damages, contact the law office of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie. Our experienced car crash attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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