Hit and Run Car Accidents
Car Accident Lawyer Bangor ME
Automobile accidents are pretty commonplace everywhere. At the very least, a minor accident is a big inconvenience and can mess up what was just another day. You might be thankful that the only thing injured was your car, and of course that can be fixed or replaced. If the other driver was at fault, stops at the scene, and shares his or her contact and insurance information, you’re likely to have no trouble filing a claim. But what if the guilty party leaves the scene of the accident?
According to a recent report, around 11% of all reported accidents involve a hit and run driver. If your vehicle was struck by a driver who then fled the scene, you may still be able to collect compensation for damages to your vehicle and to yourself. Accident laws vary from state to state, and the state you live in will determine the options you have for recovering losses after a hit and run accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Bangor ME, you’ll want to work with a car accident lawyer like David Bate who is familiar with Maine’s laws.
No-Fault Insurance States
There are about a dozen states that use the no-fault insurance model. Maine is not one of them, but you’ll still want to know what it means in case you’re involved in an accident outside of the state.
With no-fault insurance, your own insurance provider may pay for your damages after an accident, regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident. If your injuries were not very serious, the chances of recovering compensation for these injuries and other out-of-pocket expenses would be the same as if the other driver had remained at the scene of the accident.
It is important to note that policy limits determine the amount of financial recovery you can receive for the damage. In addition, the personal injury protection, or PIP, might not apply to damage to the vehicle. The collision coverage portion of the insurance policy will be the reference point when determining how much can be recovered for the damage done to the vehicle.
Fault-Based Insurance States
Maine is a fault-based state, so a hit and run accident can be very damaging for victims. Without knowing who caused the accident, it’s impossible to file a claim with their insurance company. Many drivers possess underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance coverage for this reason. This coverage kicks in when the other driver’s insurance is not sufficient to fully compensate you for your damages, or when the other driver does not have insurance. In the case of a hit and run accident, uninsured motorist coverage would likely be the most helpful.
Why Do People Flee?
Even if you find the driver who caused the accident, it may be difficult to recover anything for damages. Drivers often flee the scene of a car accident because they’re in shock and they panic; however, other reasons that may affect your ability to recover compensation include:
- Driving without a valid driver’s license
- Driving an unregistered vehicle
- Driving without car insurance
- An undocumented immigrant
- In the process of committing or fleeing from a crime
If you find the driver and they do have car insurance, their liability coverage may pay for your damages, up to the limits of their policy. They may also be held responsible for criminal charges as well.
If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run accident, you’ll want to contact a car accident lawyer Bangor ME residents trust to help you file a personal injury lawsuit.