What to Do if You Were the Victim of a Hit and Run Driver in Salt Lake City
Under state law, drivers are required to stop, provide assistance, and share their contact information if they ever cause an auto accident resulting in injury. Unfortunately, some people try to evade responsibility by simply driving away before meeting any of these requirements. This is called leaving the scene of an accident, better known as hit and run. If you were injured in a hit and run accident in Utah, an experienced Salt Lake City car accident lawyer may be able to help you get compensated.
What Types of Evidence Can Help Police Track Down a Hit and Run Driver?
Try to compile as much evidence as possible after you have been involved in a hit and run accident. Any details you can remember about the vehicle, such as its color, model, or number of doors, can be helpful to the Salt Lake City Police Department.
For example, were the windows of the vehicle tinted? Was there any tape or visible repair work on the vehicle? Was either headlight or tail light broken? Did it have any scratches or dents? Did it appear to be a newer vehicle, or a retro style from an earlier decade? Did the car feature a pinstripe, window decals, bumper stickers, a spoiler (“whale tail”), or any other modifications that would set it apart from others?
If you are able to do so, it’s very important to write down the other driver’s license plate number. Even if you cannot see the entire number, make note of any digits or letters you can see. This will help the police to narrow down a list of potential suspects while investigating the accident.
If the crash occurred in an urban or suburban area, the police can also check to see whether a nearby business may have captured the accident on a security camera. It may also be possible to locate one or more witnesses who saw the collision take place, particularly if the accident occurred on a busy street in downtown Salt Lake City.
How Do You Get Compensated for a Hit and Run Injury in Utah?
While the police are investigating the crash, an experienced auto accident attorney can also help review your insurance policy to determine what sort of coverage may be available to you.
For instance, all auto insurers in Utah are required to offer (though drivers are not required to purchase) a form of coverage called UM/UIM insurance, which helps compensate injuries resulting from accidents caused by uninsured motorists (UM) and underinsured motorists (UIM). Hit and run drivers, who are sometimes referred to as “phantom drivers,” are included in this description as uninsured motorists. (In fact, drivers often decide to leave accident scenes because they lack auto insurance, which is not only financially risky, but also a violation of state law.)
Under Utah Code § 31A-22-305.3(2)(a), UIM coverage “provides coverage for a covered person who is legally entitled to recover [compensation] from an owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle because of bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death.” The same types of coverage are noted under Utah Code § 31A-22-305(3), which deals with UM insurance.
With some exceptions, state laws provide that UM/UIM coverage “shall be equal to the lesser of the limits of the named insured’s motor vehicle liability coverage”: $25,000 per accident with one victim, and $65,000 per accident with multiple victims.
Hit by a Car in Salt Lake City? Contact Our Utah Auto Accident Lawyers
If you were hit by a car in Salt Lake City while you were driving, walking, or riding your bike or motorcycle, the personal injury law firm of Overson Law can help you fight for compensation. Attorney Darwin Overson has over 33 years of experience handling pedestrian accident claims, motorcycle accident claims, bicycle accident claims, and vehicular accident claims in Salt Lake City and communities throughout Utah. Bringing decades of legal knowledge and practical experience to every claim he handles, Darwin has earned a reputation for being a tough and aggressive opponent who is not afraid to stand up to insurance companies to protect his clients’ best interests.
To set up a free legal consultation with Utah personal injury lawyer Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law right away at (801) 895-3143. Darwin will keep your information confidential while helping you determine whether you have a personal injury claim.