Who Is Liable for a Hit and Run Accident?

Although the driver who flees the scene is liable for a hit and run accident, insurance companies usually accept liability because hit and run drivers rarely get caught. Because New Jersey is a no-fault car accident state, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should compensate you for medical expenses, missed wages, and other damages.

PIP coverage applies no matter who is at-fault for the accident, which is helpful if the person who caused the accident cannot be identified.

Unfortunately, PIP does not cover property damage, so unless you have collision coverage, you will be liable for the damage to your vehicle. Even with collision coverage, you may have to pay a deductible.

Some insurance policies also include uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) that you can use when you do not know whether the driver who hit you has insurance.

How Do I Get the Money I Need from My Insurance Company?

To use your insurance coverage and get the benefits spelled out in your policy, you will need to file a claim. From there, the insurance company should compensate you for your losses up to policy limits.

Unfortunately, insurance companies often balk at paying valid claims and create many hoops for claimants like you to jump through. For example, your insurance company may ask for “proof” of the hit and run accident. In some cases, this is as simple as giving your adjuster the number associated with your police report. In others, insurance companies simply refuse to pay.

Generally, the higher the damages, the less likely your insurance company is to cooperate.

At Palmisano & Goodman, P.A., we spend a lot of time negotiating with insurance companies – both inside and outside of personal injury claims. We have been handling situations like yours since 1974.

After a hit and run accident, the last person who should face liability is the victim, but the at-fault driver is nowhere to be found and insurance companies often act in bad faith.

Both leaving the scene of a car accident and acting in bad faith on an insurance contract are against the law. The driver might not get caught, but our firm will not let insurance companies get away with failing to honor their end of the contract.

You paid your car insurance premiums, now it’s time for your insurance company to give you the benefits you paid for. Palmisano & Goodman, P.A. can help you recover the damages you need up to the limits of your policy.

If you need help dealing with your insurance company after a hit and run (or any kind of car crash), please call us at (732) 709-4400 or request a free consultation online.

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