FAQ's After a Kansas City Hit-and-Run Car Accident
As a Kansas City car accident lawyer, I've unfortunately had to assist victims of hit and run accidents. Even though it is illegal to leave the scene of the accident, it happens more than you may think. There are many common questions that arise if the driver who is at fault fled the accident scene. For example, you may be wondering:
How will I prove that I was not at fault for the accident?
How will I find the driver who at fault and hold him or her accountable?
Who will be responsible for my medical expenses and lost wages?
Will I be charged a deductible fee for the damage on my property?
Is there any need for me to engage the services of a lawyer?
These difficult questions that can arise after a hit-and-run accident whether it occurred in Kansas City or elsewhere in Kansas or Missouri. These questions are in addition to all the other medical, financial and legal challenges associated with being injured a car crash. You may have mounting medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing pain and treatment.
Perhaps the biggest question of all after a hit-and-run accident is: how can you hold the at-fault driver responsible for his or her actions when you don't know who they are? Unfortunately, these situations are all too common and the number of hit-and-run accident injuries continues to climb.
Kansas City Hit and Run Accidents: Top 4 Tips for Injury Victims
The good news is that there are several ways to recover for your losses after a hit-and-run car accident under Missouri and Kansas law. Below are top four things you need to know about hit-and-run accidents in Missouri and Kansas.
1. How to Find the Hit-and-run Driver
With the professional assistance of an experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer, you may be able to find the hit-and-run driver. The best method to ensure the arrest of the at-fault driver is to provide all necessary information to your attorney and police. Below is some of the information that has assisted in apprehending hit-and-run drivers:
- The make, model, color, and license plate number of the car.
- The contact details and names of eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident.
- The precise time and place of the wreck can be very helpful, especially if there is a recording from a security camera at the intersection or local business. Video is more available than you think can help identify and apprehend the suspect.
2. How to Make Your Insurance Company Cover Your Losses
When you cannot find the driver who hit your vehicle, you should file a claim with your own car insurance. In Missouri and Kansas, your insurance company can be required to pay both your property damage and injury claim if the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident and cannot be found.
Two forms of insurance are crucial in these circumstances: (a) Uninsured Motorist Coverage and (b) Medical Payment or Personal Injury Protection Coverage. The first coverage is required under both Missouri and Kansas law. The second coverage is required in Kansas and is optional in Missouri.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Missouri and Kansas law requires that with every car insurance policy to include uninsured motorist coverage, which provides protection against drivers not covered by insurance. This provision also applies in the event of a hit-and-run collision because the driver who is at fault in unknown.
When the identity of the at-fault driver is unknown, you cannot file a claim with the insurance company of that unknown party, so you have to depend on your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage provides compensation for property damage, medical expenses and other losses associated with an injury. You may have to pay a deductible as set out in your policy, but this can be reimbursed from the at-fault driver if he or she is later found.
- Medical Payment and Personal Injury Protection Coverage
In Missouri and Kansas, your own car insurance policy may cover the medical expenses you incur due to injuries from the accident. This coverage pays these amounts even before you settle of your UM or liability claim. This coverage is known as Medical Payment (“Medpay”) coverage in Missouri, and Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) in Kansas.
If you are a holder of the MedPay or PIP insurance coverage, you need to send your medical bills to your own car insurance, and your car insurer will pay those bills up to the limit stated in your Medpay or PIP provision.
3. How to Get Repaid Your Deductible
If the hit-and-run driver is found after you have been charged a deductible for your property damage, you should receive reimbursement. Your insurance provider will also seek a refund from the insurance company of the erring driver in a legal procedure called subrogation.
Punitive damages can arise when drivers who cause an accident flee from the scene. As a result, you may be owed more than the actual amount of the deductible. Our Kansas City car accident attorney can help answer questions and guide you through this and other issues, so feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 816-203-0143.
4. An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A car accident attorney can be indispensable in getting a fair and full recovery after a hit-and-run accident. Our experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer can utilize private investigators, obtain additional evidence whether from camera footage or eyewitnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies.
We can remove the uncertainty and stress caused by the hit-and-run crash, so you can focus on getting better. Our legal team is ready to help you in the midst of the confusion and chaos caused by a hit-and-run driver.
Call Our Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Kansas City or elsewhere in Kansas or Missouri and do not know what next step to take, please contact us by calling (816) 203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation. We would be happy to answer your questions and be of assistance to you.
You should also download a PDF copy of our free book, Crash Course: An Insider's Guide to Accident & Injury Law in Missouri & Kansas. This guide is packed with tons of tips and helpful information on how to maximize your injury settlement, including the 9 mistakes that will wreck your claim.
No matter what you choose to do, you need to act promptly. All injury claims have certain deadlines, and the failure to act timely can bar your right to recovery.