According to the law in the State of Delaware, any driver that is involved in a motor vehicle accident that causes injury or property damage must stop their vehicle at the scene. They must make a reasonable effort to see if anyone was killed or hurt; and if so, the police should be contacted.
This driver also has a duty to report the car accident if it happened on a public highway and caused damages over $500, or if the other driver appears to be impaired or intoxicated.
Although these laws are clear, not everyone follows them. When an at-fault driver causes an accident and leaves the scene, it turns into a hit and run scenario.
Types of Hit and Runs
Drivers that cause accidents may leave the scene for many reasons. One of the main ones is because they are afraid of fines, higher insurance rates, or possible jail time. Driving while intoxicated, without a license, or with no insurance are contributing factors to this.
Drivers with illegal substances in their vehicles, or ones with warrants against them, are also likely to flee the scene. One of the most dangerous situations is a driver in the process of speeding away from a crime scene, or in a stolen car.
Motorists are not the only people involved in hit and runs. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists can also cause or become injured in these accidents. They are especially vulnerable to injuries, since there is no protection lake that in a car or truck.
What Hit and Run Victims Need to Do
Hit and runs can be very traumatic, especially when the victims are injured. The first step is to call for medical help if needed; the second is to call the police. Getting a police report at the scene is important, as it will be used for insurance purposes.
The victim should then contact their automobile insurance company as soon as possible, since some policies will cover hit and runs via uninsured motorist coverage. This may cover medical costs and property damage in certain situations.
Accidents with Uninsured Motorists
Even if the at-fault driver remains at the scene, they may have inadequate insurance, or none-at-all. The Insurance Research Council (IRC) reported that in 2017, Delaware had a rate of around 11.4 percent of drivers that did not have auto insurance.
Victims in these situations should take the same steps as in a hit and run: call for medical help, police, and insurance.
Making a Case for Hit and Runs and Uninsured Drivers
In Delaware, as well as 22 other states including New Jersey, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory. Pennsylvania does not mandate uninsured nor underinsured motorist coverage.
It can be a lifesaver, since the policy holder can file a claim against their own insurance when the at-fault driver is without any. Having this coverage will go a long way towards obtaining compensation.
Proving liability and getting coverage for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and even lost wages in these cases can be difficult after the fact, especially if the hit and run driver and vehicle cannot be identified. This is when contacting an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer is the best move.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Help Individuals Involved in Hit and Run Accidents
If you experienced a hit and run car accident, compensation may be available. At McCann & Wall, LLC our experienced Delaware car accident lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights as a hit and run car accident victim. Call today at 302-308-7013 or contact us online to schedule a confidential initial consultation. Our skilled lawyers represent clients across Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Delaware County and Chester County.