Virginia laws require automobile insurers to have basic minimum coverage to provide payment for crash losses. Liability coverage is required in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If a motorist causes a crash, his insurer will pay up to $25,000 to each individual victim hurt in the accident, up to a total of $50,000 per accident if the motorist has purchased only minimum coverage. Many drivers chose to purchase more liability coverage than required minimums. Virginia law also mandates drivers purchase both uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.
Drivers, bicycle riders, and pedestrians must understand how this insurance coverage works to protect them. This is especially true if a motorist is involved in a collision with someone who causes a crash and then leaves the accident scene without stopping. Knowing how to handle hit-and-run claims can mean the difference between getting fair compensation and being left without necessary funds after serious injuries are sustained.
How to Handle Roanoke Hit-and-Run Claims
If the hit-and-run driver was the cause of your motor vehicle accident, you want the driver to be found so you can make a claim on his or her liability policy. You should call the police and provide information needed by law enforcement to help find the driver. Increasingly, social media is being used to help find hit-and-run motorists. Police sound the alert on television news, but also on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites so news gets out quickly. Numerous news stories can be found throughout the U.S. in which social media is used in hit-and-run cases including accidents reported on by Channel 3000, by NBC, by WECT, and by WPDH. Witnesses who saw the accident or who saw a vehicle matching the description of the car involved in the hit-and-run can contact law enforcement so the driver is found.
If police find the driver, your car accident claim can proceed normally. This means negotiating a settlement with the driver's insurer or filing a personal injury or civil lawsuit against the driver. Sometimes, the driver does not have insurance. If this happens, you could personally sue if the motorist has income or enough assets to pay for your losses. If the driver does not have insurance coverage or money, going after him is going to be futile because you wouldn't be able to collect even if you won a case against him.
When hit-and-run drivers are not ever found or when drivers are identified but have no insurance, you should use your uninsured motorist coverage to obtain compensation for crash losses. Notify your insurance company and make a claim according to policy guidelines. Your insurer should negotiate a payout with you to cover your losses and to resolve your claims. In the event your insurance company fails to fulfill its requirements by living up to policy guidelines and providing compensation after a crash with an uninsured driver, you can contact an attorney to file a bad faith claim against the insurer or to deal with the insurance company on your behalf.