Being involved in a car accident is bad enough, but it is made even worse when the other driver does not stop to see if you are all right and exchange insurance information. When this happens, it is considered a crime and the victimized person should immediately report the incident to the local law enforcement authorities. In Oregon, law enforcement aggressively prosecutes hit and runs, especially those involving injuries.
Drivers flee from the scene of accidents do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is to avoid a warrant for their arrest. Other times it is because they simply do not have insurance and they are afraid of the legal repercussions. Often it is because they are under the influence of intoxicants and do not want to be charged with a DUII.
What To Do If You Are in a Hit and Run Car Accident
When a hit and run accident occurs there are a number of things you need to do to protect yourself:
- Do not follow the driver that caused the accident and fled. It could be dangerous. Let the authorities do their job.
- Make sure you seek immediate medical attention if you are injured.
- Report the hit and run to law enforcement so they can conduct an investigation and to document the incident.
- See if there are any witnesses. Get their contact information.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and your vehicle.
- Do not forget to report the hit and run accident to your own insurance company. Do not minimize your injuries.
- Finally, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Kroll & Johnson so that you can learn about protecting your legal rights.
You Can Still Recover Compensation If You Are Injured in a Hit and Run
Many people wrongly assume that they are unable to recover reasonable compensation for the harms and losses they sustained as a result of the hit and run accident because the driver that would usually be held accountable is absent. This is not the case. Every insurance company in Oregon is required to provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as part of the auto insurance policies they issue. One triggering event in every auto policy is a hit and run accident. If the other driver cannot be located and you did not jeopardize your insurance company’s ability to investigate the loss, then a valid uninsured motorist claim can be a pathway to reasonable compensation.
The PIP Year Will Become Two Years in 2016 In Oregon
Drivers who through no fault of their own find themselves ensnarled in the after effects of a hit and run accident will have even more statutory protections available to them in 2016. This is because Oregon has legislatively mandated that insurance companies lengthen the period of time Personal Injury Protection Benefits can be used for reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of body injuries suffered in car accidents. The “PIP year” will actually be two years in 2016, which will provide much needed support for the countless individuals injured in car accidents in Oregon.
Free Legal Consultation on Hit and Run Accidents
The car accident attorneys at Kroll & Johnson are standing by to assist and aggressively advocate for you and your loved ones who have unfortunately been injured in hit and run accidents. Please do not hesitate to take advantage of the free consultations we offer to prospective clients. Remember, the consultation is free and we don’t get paid unless we win.