Protecting Your Rights After A Hit and Run Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be stressful enough without the added insult of having the other driver flee the scene. You can be stuck with covering the costs of both the property damage and any medical treatment needed to care for your injuries. All too often, innocent people are left with thousands of dollars in damages and medical bills because of another driver's irresponsibility.

Whether you are dealing with the other person's insurance company or an adjuster from your own insurance company handling your uninsured motorist claim, a Providence hit and run accident lawyer will be a valuable resource. Attorney Noelle Clapham has a great deal of experience advocating for the victims of hit and run drivers.

Insurance Coverage in Rhode Island: Protecting Yourself with Adequate Policy Limits

The State of Rhode Island requires every driver to have minimum automobile insurance coverage. The basic requirements are $25,000 in liability coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. Of course, you likely will not foresee being the victim of a hit and run accident, so it is a good idea to proactively protect yourself from dangerous drivers on the road.

Though not legally required, it is highly advisable to have uninsured motorist coverage. In the event you are unable to exchange insurance information because the at-fault driver fled the scene or was otherwise uninsured, you will be protected. Your insurance company will step in and pay for medical bills and other expenses. This type of insurance can also help if your property damage and medical bills exceed the coverage limit of the other, underinsured driver. You will still need a Providence hit and run lawyer to assist with this process because, even though it is your own insurance company, the driver still has a vested interest in paying out as little as possible.

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage but know who the uninsured driver is, you may have to sue him individually to recover for your damages. In any event, a Providence hit and run accident lawyer can help make sure you are adequately compensated.

Steps to Take Immediately After the Accident

Nobody plans to be involved in an accident, but there are several important steps you should plan to take in the event of a collision. Contacting a Providence hit and run accident attorney is one such step; there are also precursors to that step that will protect you and your rights when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.

  • Call for an ambulance if you or anybody else suffered serious injuries in the collision.
  • If it is safe to do so, get the other driver's contact information, insurance name and policy number or license plate number.
  • Call the police to report the accident and request that a report be filed.
  • Take photographs of the scene and the vehicle(s) involved
  • Contact any witnesses who may have viewed the collision
  • Contact your insurance company to report the accident
  • Call an attorney

If you are unable to get the other driver's information, it will be helpful for the police to have as much information as possible to assist with locating the driver. Even if you are only able to get a license plate number, the police and your attorney may be able to locate the driver's address or insurance information by contacting the Division of Motor Vehicles.

It can take a few months to over a year to settle a car accident claim. The process can be even longer if your case goes to trial. From negotiating with insurance adjusters to presenting cases to juries in a courtroom, Noelle Clapham and the attorneys at Robinson & Clapham have many years of experience and great success in reaching fair and reasonable settlements for their clients. They can be reached in Providence at (401) 400-3841 or in Wakefield at (401) 594-4365. Call today for a consultation!