What to do after a hit-and-run accident in Lexington, KY
A hit-and-run accident can be a traumatic experience, leaving you with physical injuries and emotional and financial stress. In Lexington, KY, like many other places, hit-and-run accidents can happen when you least expect them. However, you do not have to handle the aftermath of the hit-and-run by yourself.
At Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, we understand the challenges you may face after a hit-and-run accident. Knowing what steps to take immediately after is crucial for your safety and any potential legal actions. Contact a Lexington car accident lawyer from Hughes & Coleman. We will guide you through the essential steps to take after a hit-and-run accident in Lexington. We know your rights. Our team is here for you 24/7, and the consultation is free.
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What is a hit-and-run accident in Lexington, Kentucky?
A hit-and-run crash occurs when a motor vehicle collides with another vehicle, person, or object, and the at-fault driver leaves the scene without reporting the accident or providing their insurance information and contact details.
Lexington hit-and-run accident statistics
You are not alone in facing the challenge of a hit-and-run accident. Hit-and-run accidents in Lexington and across the state are more common than most people realize. According to Kentucky State Police, there were 11,312 reported hit-and-run accidents in 2021, and 10% of these crashes resulted in injuries. Most hit-and-run collisions (41%) happened on city streets, 25% on state roads, and 16% on U.S. roads.
Immediate steps to take after a hit-and-run accident in Lexington
Following a hit-and-run incident, you’ll encounter one of two situations:
- You managed to record the license plate number of the other vehicle, allowing authorities to identify the driver.
- The accident occurred so swiftly that you couldn’t get the license plate number.
Regardless of the category you belong to, certain crucial steps must be taken in the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident.
At the accident scene
Hit-and-run incidents unfold rapidly, often leaving victims with minimal time to process and retain vital information for identifying the responsible driver.
When faced with a hit-and-run incident, it is imperative to follow these steps:
- Stay at the scene: Remain at the accident site without leaving. Find a safe location and collect your thoughts.
- Prioritize safety: Check yourself and others involved for injuries. If you or any passengers are hurt, promptly call 911 for medical assistance.
- Get the details: Try to recollect and record as many details as possible. This includes noting the fleeing vehicle’s make, model, color, license plate number, and any distinctive features like bumper stickers.
- Notify authorities: Report the hit-and-run to the police immediately. Furnish them with all available information about the incident and the fleeing vehicle.
- File a police report: Initiate the process of filing an accident report with the Lexington Police Department (LPD), ensuring that the hit-and-run is officially documented. If you possess any details regarding the vehicle, this report can aid the police in locating the other vehicle and identifying the at-fault driver.
- Collect evidence: If conditions permit, capture photos or videos of the accident scene, encompassing your vehicle’s damage and other pertinent details. This evidence can prove invaluable for insurance claims and investigative purposes.
- Find witnesses: Eyewitness accounts can hold significant value in hit-and-run cases. Gather contact information from potential witnesses and document any statements or information they can provide.
- Consult a car accident attorney: Enlisting the services of an experienced attorney is crucial after a hit-and-run incident. They can assist you in various ways, ensuring you receive the total compensation you deserve from either the insurance company or the other driver if authorities identify them.
- Notify your insurance company: Contact your insurance provider to report the hit-and-run incident. Give them all relevant information and follow their guidance for initiating a claim, but also be careful about what you say. An attorney can handle this process on your behalf. If you’ve suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today for a free consultation.
Keep in mind that it’s essential to stay composed and make your safety the top priority. Following these steps increases the likelihood of identifying the accountable party and ensuring the situation is managed appropriately.
You can find the hit-and-run driver that caused the accident in Lexington, KY with the help of an injury lawyer
Even if you contact the police immediately after the accident, they might lack the necessary resources to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into your hit-and-run incident to pinpoint the responsible party. However, a personal injury law firm like Hughes & Coleman possesses the experience and resources to step in.
Our team can conduct a comprehensive investigation in the vicinity of the collision to ascertain whether we can indeed identify the hit-and-run driver. This investigation involves various approaches, including obtaining video surveillance footage from local businesses, utilizing ring cameras, and other similar equipment to help locate the other vehicle. Alongside these measures, we undertake a range of standard investigative procedures.
The prospects of successfully locating a hit-and-run driver are most favorable when you have a dedicated legal team focused on meticulously examining all available evidence.
Following a hit-and-run, it’s important to understand your insurance coverage
In Lexington, Kentucky, drivers have access to three primary insurance policies:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance: This coverage is mandatory in Kentucky unless you choose to reject it.
- Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM): UM coverage is required by Kentucky law. It protects you in accidents caused by uninsured drivers or hit-and-run incidents, regardless of whether you’re driving, riding a motorcycle, walking as a pedestrian, or cycling.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): Unlike UM coverage, UIM coverage is not mandatory in Kentucky. UIM coverage helps when the at-fault driver in an accident lacks sufficient insurance to cover your losses adequately. After a significant accident, it’s important to consider immediate damages and the long-term impact on your life. A car accident attorney is often necessary to secure just compensation.
Understanding the differences between UM coverage and UIM coverage is very important. It’s also important to understand how each may or may not help you following a hit-and-run crash.
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Kentucky follows a “no-fault” auto insurance system, requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. The minimum coverage limit is $10,000. To step outside this no-fault system and file a claim against another driver, you must meet Kentucky’s injury threshold.
What does this mean? To get outside the state’s no-fault system, you must demonstrate one of the following:
- Medical bills over $1,000.
- You suffered 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 money for those injuries outside the no-fault system.
Although the threshold may appear simple, it’s not always easy to establish eligibility. One of our experienced car accident lawyers can examine your medical bills and records to help back up your claim and support you along the way.
Does PIP insurance cover a hit-and-run accident?
It does. If you are in Kentucky and have PIP insurance, it offers coverage for a hit-and-run accident. The PIP insurance will cover your injuries up to the policy limits, regardless of whether the driver responsible is found or not. PIP will not cover property damage though.
Uninsured motorist insurance
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is a vital component of your auto insurance policy designed to provide protection in scenarios where you encounter an accident caused by a driver lacking insurance coverage. It’s essential to distinguish UM from underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). UM coverage comes into play when you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or become a victim of a hit-and-run incident. This protection extends to various situations, whether you’re driving, riding a motorcycle, walking as a pedestrian, or cycling.
In Kentucky, legal requirements dictate minimum liability limits for insurance coverage. These limits encompass:
· $25,000 for bodily injuries sustained by one individual.
· $50,000 for all bodily injuries sustained collectively by everyone injured in the accident.
· $10,000 for property damage.
Comprehending the distinctions between UM and UIM coverage and being aware of these minimum liability limits is crucial for ensuring adequate protection in unforeseen accidents.
The Kentucky Uninsured Motorist Statute (KRS 304.20-020) does not explicitly address “hit and run” situations. Coverage for injuries caused by unidentified motorists is an optional feature of the policy, not a mandatory requirement. Furthermore, the statute does not classify a motor vehicle as uninsured solely because the driver fled the scene and cannot be identified.
To determine if you have additional coverage for hit-and-run accidents within your uninsured motorist insurance policy, you must carefully review the declarations page of your policy. Experienced car accident lawyers can also help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the liability coverage.
Underinsured motorist protection
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is a component of your auto insurance policy that acts as a shield when the driver at fault in an accident lacks sufficient insurance to cover your losses. It’s important to keep in mind that following a significant accident, you should take into account not just the harm to your vehicle and any immediate injuries but also the time needed for complete recovery (if possible) and the impact of the accident on your life.
Frequently, a few thousand dollars is significantly short of what is necessary, and the need will be there to get a car accident attorney involved to secure fair compensation.
Does underinsured motorist coverage encompass hit-and-run accidents?
Most of the time, this coverage can be instrumental in covering bodily injury expenses and damages for you and your passengers if the other driver is found. It may also provide coverage to you in the event that injuries are sustained in a pedestrian-involved hit-and-run accident.
How can a car accident law firm assist with insurance coverage after a hit and run?
In cases where the vehicle that caused the accident cannot be identified, our team of car accident attorneys will thoroughly assess all your insurance policies to maximize compensation through your uninsured motorist coverage.
Reviewing these policies is crucial since specific prerequisites must be met to secure uninsured coverage in hit-and-run cases, including physical contact between the fleeing vehicle and your vehicle.
In Lexington, eligibility for uninsured motorist benefits in a hit-and-run accident requires evidence of physical contact, which we document through photos and videos to support your claim so we can help you get compensated.
Kentucky’s hit-and-run law
Being involved in a car accident is scary, but you must stay at the scene. In Kentucky, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense.
In Kentucky, is a hit-and-run a felony?
A hit-and-run in the state can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on factors like property damage, injuries, or fatalities.
What is a hit-and-run charge in Lexington?
In Kentucky, the consequences for a hit-and-run vary based on the severity of injuries or property damage caused during the incident.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage alone is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Lexington, with penalties ranging from $20 to $2,000 in fines and/or a potential jail term of up to one year.
However, if a hit-and-run involves injury or death, and the driver should have been aware of the harm caused, it becomes a Class D felony, carrying penalties of $1,000 to $10,000 in fines and/or a prison sentence ranging from one to five years.
Proving fault after a hit-and-run in Kentucky
Kentucky’s no-fault insurance system means you don’t need to prove fault to file an insurance claim for damages in a hit-and-run case. However, it’s advisable to engage an experienced car accident attorney when negotiating a settlement offer to ensure you receive the rightful compensation.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a hit-and-run incident, our legal team in Lexington is here to provide a free, risk-free consultation. We can guide you through this challenging time and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve from your insurance company.
If you’re in Lexington and need a hit-and-run lawyer, call us today for a free consultation
If you’ve suffered injuries in a hit-and-run incident, our legal team in Lexington is here to provide you with a free consultation. We can guide you through this challenging time and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve from your insurance company.
Get it done.
Call us now at 800-800-4600.