Insurance Claims for Hit and Run Collisions
When you are the victim of a hit and run driver the prospects of obtaining compensation for injuries sustained in the crash depend in large part upon whether you have “uninsured motorist” coverage, and the language that describes this coverage in your insurance policy. Many insurance policies that provide uninsured motorist coverage define “hit and run vehicle” as a “vehicle whose owner or driver cannot be identified and which strikes the insured, or the vehicle occupied by the insured, and causes bodily injury to the insured.” The word “strikes” has generally been construed to mean “physical contact” with the hit-and-run vehicle. However, sometimes there need not be a direct physical touching between the hit-and-run automobile and the insured automobile in all instances before the ‘physical contact’ condition is satisfied. If a substantial physical nexus between the hit-and-run vehicle and an intermediate object is shown and if the transmitted force is continuous and contemporaneous, as when one object hits a second impelling it to strike a third, then courts have found that ‘physical contact’, within the policy’s meaning, exists. What happens though if there is no physical contact, and the hit and run vehicle swerves away at the last minute, yet causes a collision? Generally, the law is that if another vehicle swerves into your path and to avoid being hit you strike a curb and lose control, then you may have an uphill battle proving that you should be entitled to insurance coverage. While this rule may seem harsh, it is designed to prevent fraud. – Never hesitate to consult one of our attorneys if you need help to better understand your legal rights.