Hit and run accidents occur more often than any of us would like to believe. The perpetrator of a hit and run accident may leave the scene for a variety of reasons. It could be because he/she doesn’t have insurance, is driving under a suspended license, or it could be drug/alcohol related.
A hit and run accident could leave you with injuries and property damage that you did not anticipate after the at-fault driver flees. Most people don’t know that there is a way to protect themselves if ever the victim of a hit and run, but your insurance company won’t be the ones offering you this information. The best way to protect yourself is to buy adequate amounts of Uninsured Motorist coverage on your own auto policy.
Pennsylvania Hit and Run Laws
75 Pa.C.S.A. Section 3742 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code states that anyone involved in an auto collision is required to stop as near to the site of the collision as possible. If stopping is not an option, he or she must return to the site.. To flee the scene of an auto accident constitutes a hit and run accident in Pennsylvania and could result in fines or even jail time for the offender. This would be a hit and run vehicle which flees the scene of an accident as defined in 75 Pa. C.S.A. Section 1702.
Furthermore the driver of any car, truck, or other vehicle involved in a collision must exchange information with the other drivers involved in the wreck. This includes names, addresses, financial responsibility information, registration number, and if requested, driver’s license information.
What Happens When Someone Hits You and Drives Away?
You can purchase protection for yourself to some degree in the event of a hit and run accident in Pennsylvania. When purchasing auto insurance, be sure to purchase as much “uninsured motorist coverage” as you can afford. Uninsured motorist coverage is useful in many accident situations. For one, it protects you if you were involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. It also protects you if you are struck by a drunk driver who is not carrying his or her own coverage. But “uninsured motorist coverage” also acts as a safeguard for you in the event that you are struck by a hit and run driver. In such a situation, your auto insurance carrier will assume the role of the at-fault driver. Compensation for your injuries is based on the extent of your injuries and the amount of coverage you bought. You can be compensated for pain and suffering, the injuries sustained, medical bills and wage loss, as well as other items of loss.
For more information on purchasing the right car insurance in the right amounts, you should read Stuart A. Carpey’s book Purchasing Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania. The book can be ordered for FREE on our website. Just follow this link, fill out a short form, and we will send you a copy through mail or online.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.