Hit and Run Car Accidents

Being in a car accident can be a very confusing time mixed with a lot of emotions and uncertainty. What am I supposed to do? Who do I need to call? Is my insurance going to cover this? Does this other person have insurance? These concerns become even more complicated when you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.

The most recently conducted study in Minnesota found that 11.5% of motorists drive without insurance. A common reason people leave the scene of the accident is that they do not have insurance. Unfortunately, a lot of hit-and-run drivers get away and are never caught, especially if your vehicle is disabled and there are no witnesses to gather evidence or follow the car. When there is a hit-and-run accident, it is very unlikely that you will be able to catch and/or identify the driver.

Because hit and run drivers often get away, it is important that you protect yourself in the event that you are involved in a hit and run accident. This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play.

Some states require insurance policies to be sold with certain coverages. For instance, Minnesota requires that all insurance policies sold in Minnesota, include no-fault benefits. Unlike Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin law requires that uninsured motorist coverage be included on all policies issued in those states. Even though you may not think you have uninsured motorist coverage, if the policy was written and sold in Minnesota or Wisconsin, you have uninsured coverage.

In Minnesota, a policy must provide a bare minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. What this means is that the most coverage that will be provided to one injured person will be $25,000.00, regardless of the injuries. It will also provide $50,000.00 per accident, regardless of the injuries and number of individuals injured. This is not a lot of coverage. Unfortunately, people rarely find out until it is too late. This is why I recommend that you check your coverage and increase it substantially if you only carry the bare minimum.

Now you may be asking what this has to do with a hit-and-run accident. How are you supposed to know if the person was insured or not? Luckily, Minnesota allows you to make an uninsured motorist claim when you are involved in a hit-and-run accident even if you are unable to identify the driver of the other vehicle. Minnesota, unlike some other states, also allows you to even make an uninsured motorist claim when there is no proof of contact with another vehicle. For instance, say a car ran you off the road or you swerved to avoid an oncoming car. This too triggers an uninsured motorist claim.

In short, the only person that you can count on to have insurance is yourself. It is of the utmost importance to have adequate insurance coverage in the event you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. Even then, sometimes insurance companies will deny the claim. If you or a loved one has been involved a hit-and-run car accident and have questions or have been denied, feel free to give me a call at 651-705-9098 or email me at mark@perronlawoffice.com.

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