A hit-and-run accident in Kentucky can leave you injured, in pain and confused about your rights. Luckily, Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state – meaning you do not have to prove the other party’s fault (or even know the other driver’s identity) to file an insurance claim for your damages. Negotiating a fair settlement, however, can be tricky. Follow these steps for your best chances of success.
To discuss the details of a case with an experience Louisville attorney from Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC, contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.
If you were present during the hit-and-run and got a look at the vehicle that struck you, right down as much as you can while the details are still fresh in your mind. Note the color, make, model, size, license plate numbers and anything else you might have noticed about the car, such as a broken taillight or bumper stickers. Even minute details could be what lead the police to the correct suspect after a hit-and-run.
Call 911 and get an official police report for your hit-and-run accident. This will verify to an insurance company that the accident really happened. Car insurance fraud is, unfortunately, a common problem. Your insurance company may request proof that you did not cause the vehicle damages yourself, such as eyewitnesses or a police report. Calling the police from the scene of the accident is the best way to secure this evidence.
Reporting the hit-and-run to police will also set an investigation in motion that could lead to the apprehension of the suspect. The police will study the scene of the accident for any available evidence, such as the other vehicle’s paint on your car or pieces of the other vehicle on the ground. The police can also search for eyewitnesses, video surveillance footage and any other potential sources of evidence identifying the hit-and-run driver.
Give a detailed account of everything you know to the police officer that responds to your call. Although the police only resolve a small percentage of hit-and-run crimes, you could be one of the lucky plaintiffs. Prompt reporting maximizes the odds of the police catching the culprit. Finally, the police can take official photographs to document your property damage and the scene of the accident for your insurance claim.
Go to the hospital immediately if you sustain injuries in a hit-and-run accident. If a driver strikes you while walking in Louisville, for example, you could suffer a traumatic head injury, broken bone or back injury. Even after a more minor collision, see a doctor for a checkup. Your adrenaline could hide the symptoms of a serious injury. Immediate medical care can increase the odds of a full recovery. It can also show an insurance company you were responsible in caring for your injuries.
The next step is to initiate an insurance claim. Kentucky’s no-fault laws state that all car accident victims will seek benefits from their insurance providers, no matter which party caused the accident. Explain to your insurance provider that you were in a hit-and-run. The company will assign a claims adjuster to review your case. Keep a few tips in mind during conversations with the claims adjuster.
If the insurance company offers to settle your claim for less than you believe it is worth, speak to a car accident attorney about your case. A lawyer may be able to help you negotiate for a larger amount. Otherwise, you may need to take your case to court. Going up against your insurance company, the hit-and-run driver, an auto part manufacturer or another party could result in full payment for your damages. A lawyer can walk you through all the steps to take after a serious hit-and-run in Kentucky.