Hit and Run Accidents
People who have been injured in a hit and run car accident may face steep medical bills and uncertainty regarding their legal options. Many victims turn to their own insurance companies to recover compensation for the harm caused by an unknown driver, only to find their claim stonewalled. Albuquerque car accident lawyer Matthew Vance understands the frustration caused by delayed or denied insurance claims. Having previously worked in the field of insurance defense litigation, Mr. Vance recognizes the strategies utilized by insurers to try to avoid paying out claims to hit and run accident victims. He can answer any questions that you have about the process as well as negotiate with or litigate against insurance companies on your behalf.Recovering Your Expenses After a Hit and Run Accident
Every driver involved in a motor vehicle collision in New Mexico is required to stop and exchange identification and insurance information with the other people affected by the accident. A driver must also provide assistance to any injured drivers or passengers, generally by alerting the police and seeking medical treatment for the injured people. Fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a criminal offense in New Mexico. Hit and run accidents caused by drugged or drunk drivers may lead to additional consequences, particularly if the accident causes injuries to others.
In some cases, the police are able to locate the hit and run driver after investigating the accident. Discussing your crash with an experienced attorney may help uncover information that could assist the police in their investigation. In addition to facing criminal charges, moreover, a hit and run driver at fault for a car accident is usually responsible for the injuries and property damage of the victims as well. If the driver is subsequently identified and has automobile insurance, as required by New Mexico law, you can file a claim with their insurance company for the losses that you sustained in the accident. In New Mexico, drivers are required to carry a minimum liability amount of $25,000 for bodily injury or death, and many people purchase additional coverage. However, if you are unable to recover the full amount of your loss because the driver was uninsured or underinsured, or if the insurance company denies your claim, you may need to file a laƒwsuit against these parties in court.
In situations in which the hit and run driver cannot be located, or the driver does not have insurance or sufficient assets to cover all of your expenses, you may also file a claim with your own insurance company for the remaining damages. In addition to property damage, the required liability insurance minimum should cover medical expenses for injuries caused by the accident as well as lost wages up to the policy limit. An injury attorney can assist you by guiding you through the claims process and dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. In preparation for filing an insurance claim, your attorney can review your automobile policy contract to determine your coverage, liability limits, and any relevant exclusions.
Should your insurance company unreasonably refuse to pay the full amount of medical expenses arising from the hit and run accident, or at least the amount of your policy limits, or if it otherwise denies or delays your claim, you could pursue the matter by filing a bad faith claim. In a bad faith action, the plaintiff seeks to hold the insurance company responsible for refusing to abide by its obligations under the contract or policy. An insurance company that denies a claim without any basis, makes a lowball settlement offer, or is found to have acted in bad faith while handling the claim is not only liable for the amount that it should have paid to its insured but also potentially for other damages.Discuss Your Situation with an Albuquerque Attorney Following a Serious Accident
Car crash lawyer Matthew Vance has significant experience representing injured victims during the insurance claims process as well as in the courtroom. He can assist residents of Albuquerque, Hobbs, Espanola, Roswell, Carlsbad, Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Farmington, Bloomfield, and many other communities. Schedule an appointment to discuss your potential case with a knowledgeable attorney by calling (505) 242-6267 or completing our online form.