Vermont law clearly requires that anyone involved in an accident stop and swap their personal information with other drivers. If someone is hurt, they are also required to render assistance. Unfortunately, some motorists flee the scene of an accident, which leaves injured victims waiting for someone to help them and without the information necessary to make an insurance claim against an at-fault driver or file a lawsuit. AtLarson & Gallivan Law, we have assisted many hit-and-run accident victims as they seek justice. The good news is that it is possible to receive compensation for a hit and run. Below, our Vermont car accident lawyers look at key sources of support.
Use Health Insurance for Personal Injuries
Hit-and-run victims often need immediate medical attention. Paying for this care is often a challenge. If you have health insurance, you can use it to get care. Many people have insurance through a job, buy a policy on an exchange, or receive government insurance. If you don’t have insurance, immediately contact Vermont’s medicaid program or get insurance through Vermont’s exchange.
Make a Claim on Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Vermont law requires that motorists have uninsured motorist coverage, called “UIM” (or “UM”)for short. This insurance will pay for bodily injuries if someone else injures you. You can’t tap UIM coverage if you are at fault for the crash. But if another driver has the majority of blame, you can use it.
UIM insurance will cover:
- Medical care to treat injuries
- Lost income if you couldn’t work
- Pain and suffering
Currently, the state requires that you carry at least $50,000 in bodily injury UIM insurance, up to $100,000 per accident. This is excellent insurance to have, but you might need a lawyer’s help making a claim. For example, your insurer might pin the accident on you, and we can help establish the fault of the other driver.
Use Collision or UIM Coverage to Fix Your Car
If your car was damaged, you’ll want to get it fixed. You have some options:
- Vermont requires at least $10,000 in uninsured motorist coverage for property damage.
- You might have collision coverage, which you can use to fix your vehicle.
These two policies are slightly different. UIM property damage insurance is fault-based. As described above, you can’t make a claim if you are at fault for the crash.
By contrast, collision coverage is no-fault. It doesn’t matter who is to blame;you can tap this coverage to fix your car regardless.
Search for the Driver
Sometimes the police can find the person who hit you. When this happens, you can then sue this person or make a claim on their insurance. To help the police with their search, write down as much information as you can, such as the color and make of the car, as well as the direction the car fled. Also note as much of the license plate as you saw.
The police might also search nearby businesses for surveillance video which could have captured the crash. This video might clearly show the license plate, which can lead the police to the driver’s door.
If anyone else was present who witnessed the crash, it’s important to get a statement from that witness, as it might establish the absent driver’s fault or help find that hit-and-run driver.
Call Larson & Gallivan Law
Our legal team is here to help any hit-and-run victim seek compensation. Call us today at 802-327-8458 to schedule your free consultation.