If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it can cover you in the event you are in an accident with a driver who leaves the scene. Hit and run accidents can leave you with car accident damages such as injuries, property damage and even emotional damages. If you were involved in this type of accident, contact Atlanta personal injury attorneys who can help you deal with your insurance company.
The Basics of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In Georgia, underinsured or uninsured motorist (UIM/UM) coverage is an additional coverage option available with automobile liability insurance policies. It provides protection for you and any passengers in your vehicle in the event of an accident involving a motorist who is driving without insurance. It also covers hit and run accident and accidents involving a motorist whose insurance coverage is too low to cover the injuries caused by the crash.
Your UIM/UM coverage can be purchased up to the limit of your liability coverage. Other useful coverages include medical payments coverage and loss-of-income coverage. An Atlanta personal injury attorney can consult regarding your legal options for recovery if you have been injured in an accident with an unknown driver to help you understand your options.
How to Make an Uninsured Motorist Claim
These accidents can be very difficult when it comes to litigation because the driver of the other vehicle typically remains unknown. But if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you should be able to make a claim after an accident. In order to make that claim successfully, you must demonstrate that your accident was caused by another driver.
When you make an uninsured motorist coverage claim for a crash caused by an unknown driver, or a “phantom driver” as they are also called, you must show that the phantom driver’s vehicle made contact with your car and/or that there were witnesses of the accident. Witnesses are important because you will need someone to corroborate your story of how the accident occurred, especially if there is no physical evidence.
According to Georgia law OCGA §33-7-11(b)(2), “a motor vehicle shall be deemed to be uninsured if the owner or operator of the vehicle is unknown.” Evidence of vehicle contact is often required in order to recover damages, but you can get around that requirement in some cases. For instance, if a driver cuts you off and causes you to crash, you may be able to prove that the phantom driver caused your injuries without actually hitting your car. In cases like this, you will need strong corroboration from at least one witness.
Coverage is provided by my insurance company. Why do I need an attorney?
When you’re making an uninsured motorist coverage claim after a hit and run accident, remember that in some cases, insurance companies may attempt to deny coverage unfairly. Your insurance company may be able to recoup the compensation paid to you if the other driver is located, but some drivers still may run into difficulty recovering compensation even from their own insurance company.
Of course, denying coverage becomes increasingly difficult if you present adequate evidence that your accident was caused by another driver who left the scene, and you file your claim with all necessary paperwork and documentation. An Atlanta personal injury attorney can be helpful in compiling all necessary evidence and correctly filing the claim. For a free consultation about your case, contact Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Shane Smith Law. Call us at (888) 927-6955 to set up an appointment to go over your uninsured motorist coverage claim.