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What Compensation Is Available After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run accident means that a driver has broken Pennsylvania law by fleeing the scene of a car accident without stopping or exchanging information with the other party. If you get involved in a hit-and-run in Pittsburgh, you may need a specialized Pittsburgh hit-and-run accident attorney to help you understand and protect your rights. You may still be eligible for compensation through one or more legal outlets.

What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident? 

Title 75, Section 3744 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury, death or property damage to stop at the scene and remain until fulfilling the required responsibilities. These include a duty to give the following information: 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Driver’s license (upon request)
  • Proof of insurance or financial responsibility

In addition, a driver must render aid (reasonable assistance) to any person injured in the accident. This includes making arrangements to bring the injured victim to a hospital or doctor if treatment is necessary. If a motor vehicle driver fails to stop at the scene of an accident to take these steps, it is the crime of a hit-and-run.

Pennsylvania Is a Choice No-Fault State

As a “choice” no-fault state, Pennsylvania does not require its drivers to choose one type of insurance system over the other. It is up to each driver to decide if he or she wants to purchase limited tort or full tort coverage. Limited tort coverage uses a no-fault system, meaning, in most cases, the driver cannot hold someone else responsible for causing a car accident. There are exceptions for collisions that cause severe or life-changing injuries. 

Full tort insurance coverage, on the other hand, gives motor vehicle drivers more options in terms of financial recovery after an automobile accident. Full tort coverage gives a driver the right to file a claim or lawsuit against an at-fault driver with representation from a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer. This can result in greater compensation than a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance alone, including damages for pain and suffering.

After a hit-and-run accident, the compensation available will depend on whether you have limited tort or full tort car insurance. Call your car insurance company after the crash to ask about your type of policy. With full tort coverage, you can hold an at-fault driver accountable for your losses after a hit-and-run. If the driver is never found or identified, however, you may have no choice but to file a first-party insurance claim.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Uninsured motorist protection insurance is a type of first-party coverage that can pay for a victim’s medical bills after a car accident involving a driver who does not have insurance. It also covers accidents caused by hit-and-run drivers who take off and are never identified. 

Uninsured motorist insurance can be helpful after a hit-and-run accident, but it is an optional type of coverage in Pennsylvania. Contact your provider to ask if you have this type of insurance. If so, the minimum coverage amounts are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

How to File a Claim After a Hit-and-Run

If you get injured or suffer property damage in a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania, contact an attorney at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. for legal assistance. Our experienced Pittsburgh personal injury attorney can help you review your own car insurance policy to search for sources of coverage as well as explore other options, such as holding a third party liable. Call (800) 777-4081 today for a free case consultation.

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