Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney, Barry P. Goldberg, has been arguing for months that Hit and Run Accidents are Rampant in Los Angeles. From his previous articles it is clear that Hit and Runs are at an epidemic level and look to continue to increase. The Los Angeles Police Department admits that over the last couple of years about 50% of all reported accidents are Hit and Runs! This is a staggering statistic! There are so many factors combining in Southern California to fuel this problem ranging from illegal unlicensed drivers to lack of enforcement.
Mr. Goldberg has been begging—practically pleading with his clients, friends and neighbors to protect themselves by purchasing sufficient Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Many people do not realize the Uninsured Motorist Coverage applies to Hit and Run claims —and for that matter, other claims even when you are outside your vehicle—biking or walking as long as there is physical contact. Assuming you have that coverage and you are involved in a Hit and Run, here are some basic suggestions that will streamline your claim:
1. Immediately Report the Accident to the Police.
The policy requires such areport within 24 hours. If it is more than 24 hours—still report it. Most case law supports “late reporting” if there is no substantial prejudice to the insurance company.
2. Report the Hit and Run to your Insurance Company as soon as possible.
The law requires that the insurer be informed within a reasonable time after reporting to the police. Never wait longer than 30 days. The insurer should have an opportunity to investigate and help locate the Hit and Run driver and vehicle. If it is longer than 30 days—-still report it. Again, most case law supports “late reporting” if there is no substantial prejudice to the insurance company.
3. Give an accurate and truthful statement under oath to the insurance company.
The insurer is mostly concerned with fraudulent claims when presented with a “Hit and Run” claim. So—the insurer has real questions about your claim. Do not forget any details of the accident. Do not mistate the property damage—admit prior damage to your vehicle. Make it crystal clear that there was “physical contact” with the Hit and Run vehicle.
In most cases, it make sense to have a qualified personal injury attorney with substantial experience with Hit and Run and Uninsured Motorist Claims on you side.
For more information about Mr. Goldberg’s expertise handling Hit and Run/Uninsured Motorist claims, see his website and many blog posts on the subject.
For a free consultation, please call Mr. Goldberg personally at (818) 222-6994.