Hit-and-Run Accidents are on the Rise in Philly
The number of hit-and-run accidents is on the rise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As alarming as that fact is, the police haven’t done much about it—until now.
Are Hit-and-Run Crimes Solvable?
Thousands of solvable hit-and-run accidents go unsolved each year. Channel 6 Action News reveals the police say there is nothing they can do about those accidents and move on. Many times, the police can’t spare the manpower to investigate. But, many of these crimes are solvable. This leaves many hit-and-run victims to rely on their own car insurance to pay for repairs.
High Insurance Rates in Philadelphia
Hit-and-run drivers cause people to completely rely on their own coverage – if they have it. Undoubtedly this is one of the reasons Philadelphia has one of the highest insurance rates in the country. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense and may be punishable by law. But, hit-and-run drivers are betting they won’t get caught.
Here is more information about hit-and-run accidents:
What is a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run accident is exactly as it sounds. A driver hits something or someone and then leaves the scene. The driver who injures the person or damages property takes no accountability.
Technology Can Catch Bad Drivers
Cameras are everywhere. Doorbell cameras, cameras at intersections, and security cameras are recording non-stop. With so many cameras recording, it is very possible the incident was caught on camera. Additionally, cameras in the area may record pictures or videos of the damaged vehicle driving away.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Document the Incident
Whether you caught it on camera or witness the accident’s aftermath, take pictures. If you saw it live, try to capture the incident and license plate on camera. Do Not put yourself or others in danger.
File a Police Report
The next step is to contact the police. Be sure to get a police report. Also, note that you legally must report the accident within 5 days as per Pennsylvania Title 75 § 3747 (a). The Philadelphia police department has a special unit to investigate hit-and-run accidents in the city.
Seek Medical Attention
If you were injured in the accident, seek medical attention. Don’t worry about the cost. If you have state minimum car insurance in PA, you have at least $5,000 of personal injury protection.
Contact Your Insurance
The next step is to contact your insurance company. You are required to file the accident through your own insurance. Filing a claim should not raise your rates.
Pennsylvania law states all drivers must have:
- Bodily injury liability– $15,000 in coverage for one person’s injury. For two or more, $30,000 for the injuries.
- Medical benefits– At least $5,000 for medical bills of either themselves or others covered under their policy.
- Property damage liability– Drivers must carry at least $5,000 for property damage if the accident is their fault.
Hit-And-Run Property Damage Claims
Most hit-and-run insurance claims for vehicle or property damage are very clear and simple. Your insurance covers the damage or it doesn’t. If you have state minimum car insurance, you might not have coverage to repair your car. On the other hand, good coverage will pay to fix or replace your car, provide a rental, and more.
Insurance Doesn’t Cover My Hit-And-Run Claim
If your insurance is supposed to cover collision but rejects your claim, talk to a lawyer. Request a copy of your insurance policy coverage from your insurance provider. You might need the help of an insurance bad faith lawyer.
When to Hire a Lawyer
You cannot sue someone who flees the scene of an accident unless police find them. Even so, many drivers that flee the scene don’t have insurance coverage. You probably won’t need a lawyer for this kind of claim. But, consider talking to a lawyer for a free consultation. A good injury lawyer will give you advice about working with your own insurance.
Pennsylvania Law Firm
At Kane & Silverman we handle personal injury claims and insurance bad faith claims. Howard Silverman and Eric Keepers are among the top insurance bad faith lawyers in Pennsylvania. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.