In our last post, we began speaking about seeking punitive damages in hit-and-run cases. As we noted last time, even when they are awarded, the collection of punitive damages—or compensatory damages for that matter—isn’t always possible due to offending motorist’s lack of insurance and financial solvency.
The reasons why motorists flee from the scene of an auto accident that they caused vary, of course, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the rate of uninsured motorists is higher in hit-and-run cases than in ordinary crashes. Uninsured motorists know that, in addition to possible criminal charges, they can face personal financial responsibility if they remain at the scene of an accident. So what happens, then, when the motorist flees and isn’t caught, or when the motorist is caught but is unable to pay a judgment? And how can an attorney help?
The answer we’d like to focus on here is an important one in any car accident case. One of the things an attorney can do to help is to ensure that the accident victim at least receives the coverage due to them under their own insurance policy. If a motorist carries uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, an attorney can help make sure that the insurance company comes through in paying for economic damages and non-economic damages to the extent they are obligated to do so.
Insurance companies aren’t always cooperative in covering an injured motorist, and having a legal advocate to handle communications is sometimes all it takes to set things straight with an insurer. In cases where the dispute becomes more entrenched, having an experienced representative at one’s side can make a big difference.