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What To Do After A Hit-and-Run Car Accident In Louisville, KY

July 14 2023 | Louisville Car Accident Lawyer Blog
  • Hit-and-run Car Accident Lawyer in Louisville, KY

    When you’ve been injured in a hit and run in Louisville, it can be an overwhelming situation, which may leave you frustrated, and unsure of the proper steps to take to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and your property damage.

    Although you were left alone at the scene of the accident, thankfully you do not have to handle the aftermath of the hit and run by yourself.

    However, there are some important things you should understand when dealing with a hit and run, which can help to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve – even if it doesn’t come from the person responsible for the wreck.

    If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run accident, call Hughes & Coleman today for a free consultation. An experienced car accident lawyer at our firm can help you through this experience and guide you through the process to ensure you have the best possible outcome.

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    800-800-4600

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    What is considered a hit and run accident in Kentucky?

    A hit-and-run accident occurs when a motor vehicle collides with another vehicle, person, or object, and the responsible driver leaves the scene without reporting the accident and/or sharing their insurance details and contact information.

    Louisville and Kentucky hit and run accident statistics

    First, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Hit and run accidents in Louisville and across Kentucky are more common than most people realize.

    According to the Kentucky State Police, in 2021 there were 11,312 reported hit and run accidents in Kentucky, and 10% of these crashes resulted in injuries. The largest percentage of hit-and-run collisions (41%) occurred on city streets, followed by 25% on state routes, and 16% on U.S. routes. Hit-and-runs are especially common for drunk driving accidents in Louisville, where the driver may flee the scene to avoid a DUI. If you were hit by a drunk driver in Louisville, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.

    Immediate steps to take after a hit and run accident

    After a hit and run accident, you will find yourself in one of two scenarios:

    • You were able to note the license plate number of the other vehicle so that authorities can identify the driver, or;
    • The accident happened so quickly, you were unable to capture the license plate number

    What happens next will be determined by which category you fall into, however there will be some important steps you will need to take regardless of how the hit and run accident transpired.

    At the scene of the accident

    Hit and runs happen quickly, and more times than not, the accident victim will have very little time to process and retain information that can help identify the hit and run driver.

    If you’re involved in a hit-and-run incident, it’s important to take the following steps:

    • Stay at the scene: Do not leave the scene of the accident. Remain in a safe location and try to gather your thoughts.
    • Ensure your safety: Check yourself and others involved for any injuries. If you or any of your passengers are injured, call 911 for medical assistance.
    • Note details: Try to remember and document as many details as possible. This includes the make, model, color, and license plate number of the fleeing vehicle, along with any identifying features, such as bumper stickers.
    • Contact the authorities: Immediately report the hit-and-run to the police. Provide them with all the information you have about the incident and the fleeing vehicle.
    • File a police report: Filing an accident report with the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) will ensure that the hit and run is documented. Further, if you have information regarding the vehicle, a report can help the police to find the other vehicle and the at fault driver.
    • Gather evidence: If it is safe to do so, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any other relevant details. This evidence can be helpful for insurance purposes and investigations.
    • Identify witnesses: Eyewitness accounts can prove to be very valuable in a hit and run. Collect their contact information and any statements or information they may have.
    • Contact a car accident attorney: An experienced attorney can help you in a number of ways following a hit and run to ensure that you recover every dollar you’re entitled to from the insurance company, or from the other driver if authorities are able to identify them.
    • Inform your insurance company: Contact your insurance provider and report the hit-and-run incident. Provide them with all the relevant information and follow their instructions for filing a claim. If you hire an attorney, they can also do this on your behalf.
    • If you were injured while a passenger, our team can also help guide you through your options.

    Remember, it’s crucial to remain calm and prioritize your safety. By taking these steps, you can improve the chances of identifying the responsible party and ensuring the proper handling of the situation.

     

    How to find a hit and run driver in Louisville with the help of an injury law firm

    Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Louisville, KY

    Currently, the Louisville Police Department is extremely understaffed, and even if you call the police immediately after the accident, they may not have the resources available to fully and properly investigate your hit-and-run to find the at fault party. However, a personal injury law firm, such as Hughes & Coleman, does.

    We will do a full investigation around the area of the collision to see if we can, in fact, identify the hit and run driver.  For example, we will pull video surveillance from local businesses, ring cameras, and similar equipment to try to identify and locate the other vehicle, along with taking all of our other normal investigative steps.

    The chances of finding a hit and run driver are best when you have a team dedicated to examining all available evidence.

     

    Understanding your insurance coverage after a hit and run

    Hit-and-Run car accident insurance in Louisville, KY

    In Louisville, Kentucky, there are three primary insurance policies available to drivers:

    • Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which is required under Kentucky law, unless you opt to reject it
    • Uninsured motorist insurance (UM), which is required under Kentucky law
    • Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), which is not required under Kentucky law

    It is important to understand the differences between UM coverage and UIM coverage, what you have, and how each may or may not help you following a hit and run accident.

    Personal injury protection (PIP)

    Kentucky operates under a “no-fault” auto insurance system, which means that all drivers are obligated to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance with a minimum coverage limit of $10,000.

    This means that in order to seek compensation for injuries and lost wages, you first rely on your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and go through your own insurance. However, if you wish to file a claim against another driver, you need to meet Kentucky’s injury threshold. To step outside the no-fault system, you must demonstrate one of the following:

    • Medical bills exceeding $1,000.
    • You sustained a broken bone.
    • You are suffering from permanent injury or disfigurement.

    Additionally, if a loved one passes away due to accident-related injuries, you can also seek compensation outside the no-fault system.

    Although the threshold may appear straightforward, establishing eligibility can be challenging. An experienced car accident lawyer can carefully assess your medical bills and records to help substantiate your claim rights.

    Will PIP insurance cover a hit-and-run accident?

    Yes. If you have PIP insurance in Kentucky, it will provide coverage for a hit-and-run accident. In the event of a hit-and-run accident, your PIP insurance will cover your injuries, up to the policy limits, regardless of whether the driver responsible is identified or not. However, PIP will not cover property damage.

    Uninsured motorist insurance

    Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is a part of your car insurance that helps protect you if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance. It’s important to note that this is separate from underinsured motorists (UIM). UM coverage is typically necessary when you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or if you’re a victim of a hit-and-run, regardless of whether you’re driving, riding a motorcycle, walking as a pedestrian, or cycling.

    In Kentucky, the minimum liability limits required by the law are:

      • $25,000 for bodily injuries sustained by one person
      • $50,000 for all bodily injuries sustained by all the people injured in the accident
      • $10,000 for all property damage

    Does uninsured motorist cover hit and run accidents?

    The Kentucky Uninsured Motorist Statute (KRS 304.20-020) does not mention “hit and run” vehicles. Coverage for injury by any unidentified motorist is an added feature of the policy that is not required. Additionally, it does not provide that a motor vehicle will be considered uninsured when the driver flees the scene and cannot be identified.

    You will need to understand if you have additional coverage for a hit-and-run accident in your uninsured motorist insurance policy. You will need to review the declarations page of your policy or speak with your insurance provider or your attorney to understand what liability coverage you have available to you.

    Underinsured motorist insurance

    Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is a part of your car insurance that helps safeguard you when the driver at fault in an accident doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses adequately. It’s crucial to remember that, following a significant accident, you should consider not only the damage to your vehicle and immediate injuries but also the time required for complete recovery (if possible) and the overall impact of the accident on your life. Often, a few thousand dollars falls far short of what is needed, and a car accident attorney is often required to obtain just compensation.

    Does underinsured motorist insurance cover hit and run?

    Usually, this coverage can assist in paying for bodily injury damages to both you and your passengers if the other driver is able to be identified. Additionally, it may provide coverage for you if you are a pedestrian who was injured in a hit-and-run.

    How a car accident law firm can help with your insurance after a hit and run

    Hit-and-Run Car Accident Lawyers Louisville, KY

    If the offending vehicle is unable to be identified, we will work to understand every policy you are insured under in order to obtain maximum compensation from your uninsured motorist coverage.

    Reviewing the policies is also very important since there are prerequisites that must be met in order to secure uninsured coverage when there is a hit-and-run vehicle, such as a physical contact requirement between the offending vehicle and your vehicle.

    In Louisville, for a victim to be eligible for uninsured motorist benefits in a hit-and-run accident, there needs to be physical contact between the victim’s vehicle (or physical body) and the vehicle that left the scene.

    We will document with photos and videos the damage to your vehicle to show that there was actual contact made, and present this evidence as part of your claim so that you can receive every dollar you are entitled to.

    What is the hit and run law in Kentucky?

    Being in a collision can be frightening, but it’s crucial to stay at the scene. Leaving can lead to criminal charges being filed against you. Under Kentucky law, a hit-and-run driver can face severe consequences.

    Is a hit and run a felony in Kentucky?

    A hit-and-run in Kentucky can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific circumstances, including property damage, injuries, or fatalities.

    What is a hit and run charge in Louisville?

    The consequences for a hit-and-run in Kentucky vary based on the severity of injuries or property damage caused during the incident.

    In cases involving property damage alone, leaving the scene of an accident in Louisville is considered a Class A misdemeanor, and the penalties may range from $20 to $2,000 in fines and/or a potential jail term of up to one year.

    However, if a driver flees the scene of a hit-and-run where there was a death or injury, and they should have been aware of the harm caused, it will be considered a Class D felony. This offense carries penalties of $1,000 to $10,000 in fines and/or a prison sentence ranging from one to five years.

    Do you have to prove fault after a hit and run in Kentucky?

    Because Kentucky is a no-fault state, proving fault in a hit-and-run is not required to file an insurance claim for your damages. However, negotiating a settlement offer should be conducted by an experienced attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

     

    Call a Louisville hit and run lawyer today for a free consultation

    If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run, call our legal team today for a free, no-risk consultation. Our team can help you though this difficult time, and can ensure that you receive every dollar you deserve from the insurance company.

    Call us now at 800-800-4600. Get it done.

     

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