I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?
Oct. 18, 2022
Statistically speaking, hit-and-runs – where the at-fault motorist flees the scene of the accident – are very common in the United States. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a hit-and-run collision occurs every 43 seconds in our country. Being involved in a hit-and-run can be a frightening and traumatizing experience.
If you have been injured or suffered losses in a hit-and-run collision in Kansas or Missouri, our car accident lawyers at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, can help. You may be wondering if you still have a case after a hit-and-run, and our attorneys are committed to helping you get the information you need to understand your legal options and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
With an office in Overland Park, Kansas, we serve accident victims throughout the Kansas City Metro and Johnson, Shawnee, and Douglas counties. Our attorneys also represent victims of hit-and-runs in Jackson County, Missouri.
Kansas Is a No-Fault Insurance State
Kansas law requires all drivers who register a vehicle and drive in the state to have certain levels of insurance coverage. Unlike most states, Kansas adopted a no-fault insurance standard. No-fault insurance means that when a driver is involved in an accident, their own insurance policy pays for medical bills and other losses and expenses, regardless of fault.
In Kansas, a car accident victim can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if their injuries meet a certain threshold. Potential compensation options after a hit-and-run accident in Kansas include:
Collision coverage, which is not mandatory in Kansas
Personal injury protection coverage, which is mandatory in Kansas
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, which is also required in the state.
It is vital to contact a strategic personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case and identify possible sources of compensation.
Missouri Is a Fault Insurance State
Missouri is not a no-fault insurance state. The state of Missouri follows a fault-based insurance system and requires motorists to carry a certain minimum amount of liability coverage. In at-fault insurance states like Missouri, liability coverage pays for a policyholder’s medical expenses and other losses only if the other driver involved in the accident was at-fault.
In Missouri, victims of hit-and-runs may have several options for compensation, including:
Collison coverage, which is not mandatory in Missouri
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, which is required in Missouri
If you only carry a minimum amount of mandatory auto insurance coverage in Missouri, your chances of securing compensation after a hit-and-run are low. In that case, you need to consult with an experienced attorney to determine your compensation options.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision in Kansas & Missouri
Both Kansas and Missouri require drivers to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, which is often the main source of compensation for those involved in hit-and-run accidents. UM/UIM coverage may be applicable when:
The other driver does not have enough insurance to cover all of your losses;
The other driver is uninsured; or
The other driver cannot be found or identified (a hit-and-run).
Statistically speaking, the percentage of uninsured motorists in Missouri is much higher than in Kansas. According to Insurance Information Institute, 16.4% of motorists in Missouri are uninsured, while only 10.9% of drivers in Kansas do not have auto insurance.
Missouri and Kansas have the same requirements for UM/UIM coverage: $25,000 per person and double the amount – $50,000 – per accident.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit and Run
Being involved in a motor vehicle crash in which the other driver flees the scene can be a frightening and intimidating experience. It is helpful to know what steps to take if you are in a hit-and-run:
Get to safety first. If you see that the driver who hit you is fleeing the scene of the crash, do not attempt to pursue their vehicle. Your first priority should be to get to safety. However, if you can, memorize and write down as many details about the fleeing vehicle as possible, including its make, model, color, license plate number, and identifying features.
Seek medical attention. If you were hurt, call 911 or ask someone else to call 911 to request an ambulance. You need proper medical care after the crash to avoid medical complications and document your injuries.
Talk to witnesses. If anyone witnesses the accident, talk to them and get their contact information. They may be able to provide additional information about the driver who fled the scene. The information could be used to identify and locate the at-fault motorist.
Notify the authorities. If you haven’t already, call the police to report the accident. When a police officer arrives, provide as much information as possible. The more details you can recall, the better the chance that the police will find the fleeing motorist to bring them to justice.
Contact your insurance company. Contacting your insurance provider is an important step to take if you are planning to pursue compensation. The requirements for reporting accidents vary from one insurer to another, which is why you may need to read your insurance policy.
Hire an attorney. Whether or not you have a case after being involved in a hit-and-run depends on the facts of your case. An attorney will help you navigate the claims process and represent your best interests while pursuing the compensation to which you are entitled.
Often, accident victims need to work with a well-informed attorney to understand their compensation options after a hit-and-run. If you or a loved one was involved in a hit-and-run, our car accident lawyers at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, can explain your options.
The Importance of Skilled Counsel
When someone hits you or your vehicle and then drives away, you may be wondering if you still have a case and can do anything to get compensation for your injuries and losses. Our car accident lawyers at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, fight aggressively for each client to help them get the compensation they are entitled to. Also, we have the comprehensive skills necessary to benefit your best interests. Schedule a free consultation or virtual meeting by contacting our office in Overland Park, Kansas. We proudly serve clients in Johnson, Shawnee, and Douglas counties, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri.