Often times a victim of a car accident is left wondering who will be responsible for their injuries and damages when they are involved in an accident caused by a hit and run driver. In such instances, the victim should look to their uninsured motor vehicle policy.
In the State of Florida, most motor vehicle policies include vehicles operated by hit and run drivers and phantom vehicles in the definition of uninsured motor vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle can be identified. This means that the injured party may look to the terms and conditions of their own policy for reimbursement of damages. The terms of these uninsured motorist policies however do come with additional obligations on the policyholder.
It is common to see that insurers of the uninsured coverage require that the insured give notice to the police or the carrier within a specific length of time. If the requisite notice is not given then the failure to provide that notice creates a presumption of prejudice. This presumption is not a complete bar to the claim however, if the insured can prove that the insurer was not in fact prejudiced by the untimely notice.
If you are involved in an accident with a hit and run driver it is always best to contact law enforcement and address any immediate medical needs. After taking the initial safety precautions you should then immediately analyze your policy to identify what coverage is available and to ensure all necessary conditions of the policy are being followed. Taking proactive steps will provide a coverage option when the negligent party cannot be found and may also avoid a battle with your own insurance company.
In the event you have a question regarding insurance coverage or if you have suffered a personal injury in an automobile accident we invite you to call Givens Givens Sparks for a free case evaluation.