One of the reasons why the State of South Carolina requires all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage under their auto insurance policy is because (1) Not all drivers purchase insurance and (2) Some drivers neglect to remain at the scene of the crash and flee before the victim can gather the information they need [Source: South Carolina Department of Insurance]. Many times, drivers who cause an accident as a result of driving while intoxicated might choose to flee rather than stay because they are fearful of going to jail. On the other hand, a driver who engaged in a crash who wasn’t properly insured may also choose to leave before the police can arrive because they knew they weren’t complying with state requirements.
Despite the reason a person might have had for leaving the scene of an accident, also referred to as a hit and run accident, it leaves you, the victim, in a very uncomfortable situation. You may be wondering if you should file a claim with your insurer or how you are going to recover the compensation you deserve for the damage and/or injuries that have been sustained. While these are both legitimate concerns that any victim of a hit and run crash would ask, we do have some helpful information for you that explains what you need to do in order to recoup the compensation you might be seeking.
The first way you would recover the compensation you need would be through your uninsured motorist coverage. Once you provide your insurer with the details they need pertaining to the accident along with a copy of the police report, your policy should provide you with a certain amount of compensation based on your limits. However, the amount of damage that has been done will be used to determine what this amount actually is.
But, what happens if you find that you need more than what your insurer can provide you with? What if your accident has led to you sustaining a severe injury that prohibits you from working? Perhaps your injury has impacted your quality of life and you are now required to seek medical treatment such as therapy just to feel some sort of relief?
If these are some of the circumstances you are currently dealing with, you may be able to sue under the uninsured motorist provision in an attempt to recover the additional amount of money you feel you are entitled to.
In order to file a lawsuit, you must meet the following legal requirements stipulated by the South Carolina Legislature under Section 38-77-170:
- You or someone on your behalf must have reported the accident to police within a reasonable amount of time. Because the law doesn’t stipulate what is “a reasonable amount of time,” it is best that the accident is reported right after it occurred.
- The injuries you sustained along with the damage that has been done to your vehicle must have been caused “by physical contact with the unknown vehicle or the accident must have been witnessed by someone other than the owner or operator of the insured vehicle.” If you choose to rely on a witness statement, they must “sign an affidavit attesting to the truth of the facts of the accident contained in the affidavit.”
- You must prove that you attempted to identify the driver who hit you, rather than allowing them to get away without making any attempt to find out who they were.
The reason these conditions must be met prior to you being able to file suit is because there are many individuals who file fraudulent uninsured motorist claims just so they can collect a check. So, to be sure your case is a valid one, you must comply with the conditions stated above.
Now, because there are certain laws and requirements you must meet prior to being awarded the compensation you might need, we suggest that you hire Spartanburg, SC car accident lawyer Paul Hammack. With so many individuals trying to take advantage of the system by filing illegitimate claims, obtaining the money you actually need can be difficult. So, rather than having to deal with the burden of filing your lawsuit and going back and forth with various parties despite the fact that you were the victim of a hit and run accident, it is best you let Hammack Law Firm represent you.
Paul Hammack has 18 years’ experience as a trial attorney. He worked for insurance companies for 15 of those years so he has the knowledge and experience to get the most out of your workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. Unlike most big box firms, Paul is not afraid of taking a case to trial. If you are hurt on the job or by someone else’s negligence we want to help. Better call Paul! Hammacklawfirm.com.
You can always contact Hammack Law Firm at:
223 West Stone Avenue
Greenville, SC 29609