Scroll through your news feed on any given day, and you’ll see it somewhere in the headlines: “Hit and Run Accident.” These accidents can be as simple as a dent in your car or as heartbreaking as a fatality. No matter how it happens, it is illegal for anyone to cause an accident and then leave the scene, but the reality is: people do it all the time.
They may leave because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or because they were texting and driving at the time of the accident. Some may merely drive away with ease; others will panic and speed away as quickly as possible.
Regardless of how the driver who caused the accident reacts, reaching out to a PG County hit and run accident lawyer is a good idea if you’ve been the victim of a hit and run accident in PG County.
Insurance Companies and Hit and Run Accidents
In the state of Maryland, drivers are required to have car insurance. Within that policy, drivers are also required to have something called “uninsured” motorist coverage. This is what you will use if your vehicle is damaged in a hit and run accident.
But there is a catch: the state of Maryland has a minimum uninsured coverage for all drivers which is:
- $15,000 for property damage
- $30,000 per person, per accident for bodily injury
- $60,000 bodily injury per accident
When it comes to hit and run accidents, insurance companies will handle your claims separately if both bodily injury and property damage are involved. There will be one insurance adjuster who handles the bodily injuries and another insurance adjuster who manages the property damage.
To keep things simple, let’s say just your vehicle was totaled in a hit and run accident and you were not in the vehicle at the time, so there were no injuries. You walk out to your car one morning and see that it has clearly been hit, but the offending driver is nowhere to be found. The insurance company will call this a “phantom driver” and will proceed to process your claim according to your coverages.
Like most people, you likely have the minimum required uninsured motorist coverage for property damage in Maryland of $15,000. However, let’s suppose you have a loan and still owe $8,000 on your vehicle. Your insurance company MIGHT (emphasis on might) give you a check for $8,000. It’s doubtful though… they typically just give you what your vehicle is worth, which, in most cases, is far less than what you owe.
The insurance company says your car is worth $3,000, so they give you a check for that amount. What about the other $5,000 you still owe? It certainly doesn’t just disappear.
There is a way to get around this predicament, but don’t wait until you’re involved in an accident. Call your insurance company today and make a straightforward request.
How to Increase Your Coverages
Your PG County Hit and Run Accident Lawyer will tell you: get as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can AND if you don’t own your vehicle outright (and are making car payments), make sure you have GAP insurance on your auto policy. GAP insurance covers what you still owe on your car while your uninsured motorist coverage covers the cost of your vehicle’s worth or repairs. They are entirely different coverages but absolute necessities when it comes to insurance policies.
You can upgrade and/or add-on these coverages in just a few minutes on the phone. All it takes is one simple phone call, and by making these small changes, you can effectively change the course of your financial future should you be involved in a Prince George’s County hit and run accident.
PG County Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit and run accident in Prince George’s County, call The Lapidus Law Firm today. The team of PG County hit and run accident lawyers have the skills and experience to comb through all the details of your insurance policy to make sure you get every possible form of compensation available. Call the Lapidus Law Firm today for a free consultation at (301) 605-4296. We’re here to help.