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Can You Receive Compensation after a Cedar Falls Hit and Run?

Iowa law requires that anyone involved in a crash stop their vehicles and swap information with other drivers. This law makes sense. The state requires that motorists carry liability insurance, which can pay compensation to someone injured in a collision. If motorists refused to stop and swap information, then no one would know how to submit an insurance claim.

Sadly, thousands of people flee the scene of an accident. Accident victims left behind often struggle to find their cell phone and call an ambulance. They might be badly hurt and possibly immobilized. Once rescued and treated, hit-and-run victims face other challenges: namely, how to obtain compensation for their car damage and personal injuries. All car accidents are expensive, and few victims can stand to lose thousands of dollars.

Call Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C. for assistance with your case. Our Cedar Falls car accident lawyers can discuss how to receive compensation after a hit and run. From our offices in Waterloo and Iowa City, we can travel to meet with any victim, if circumstances warrant. In the meantime, read this article on different methods for obtaining compensation for a hit and run.

Submit a Claim on Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Most Iowa drivers should have uninsured motorist coverage. This is a type of insurance which you can tap if you are injured by an uninsured motorist. It also applies to hit and run accidents.

Iowa does not require that you carry uninsured motorist insurance (UM). However, any insurer providing liability insurance is obligated by law to provide UM coverage as well, unless you decline it in writing. Most drivers do not decline it (thankfully).

UM coverage is still fault based. Although you pay the premiums, you can’t tap these benefits if you were at fault for the crash. For that reason, your insurer might deny benefits. They might not believe you were involved in a hit and run but instead allege that you crashed the car yourself, perhaps by falling asleep or driving while distracted. Reach out to our firm to talk with an attorney. We can help gather evidence to show you were really victimized by a hit and run motorist.

UM coverage should pay compensation for medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. The policy limit should be equal to your liability coverage limit.

Use Your Health Insurance to Pay for Medical Care

You can use your health insurance to receive medical care following an accident. Many hit-and-run victims are struggling with whiplash, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and fractures. They need immediate care so their condition does not worsen.

In Iowa, a health insurer has a right to reimbursement if you ultimately receive a financial settlement for your car accident. Still, health insurance is a critical source of support for hit and run victims, who might never receive a settlement.

Get Your Car Fixed with Collision Insurance

You might also use collision coverage to repair your car damaged in a hit and run. Unfortunately, UM insurance doesn’t cover property damage, but collision does.

This is optional insurance in Iowa. Because it is an added expense, many drivers refuse to get collision insurance. However, you might carry it if you have a car loan, because lenders want to protect themselves. They will require that you pay for collision coverage until you satisfy your car loan.

Go through your paperwork and see if you have collision insurance. You can use it to get your car fixed, which is necessary for most people in Cedar Falls to get to work.

The great thing about collision coverage is that it is no-fault. It doesn’t matter if you were responsible for the crash, so there should be no haggling over the details of the accident.

Use Medical Payments Coverage, if You Have It

Medical payments (called “med pay”) is optional insurance in Iowa. You can use these benefits to pay for medical treatment following an accident. Some people have at least a few thousand dollars in medical payments coverage, although you might have purchased more.

Medical payments coverage is no-fault insurance. You can use these benefits even if you are responsible for your collision. Sometimes, accident victims use med pay benefits to pay the deductible on their health insurance.

Another Option: Find the Hit-and-Run Driver

It’s always possible to file a personal injury claim if you can find the driver who struck you. The police are interested in making sure dangerous drivers are held accountable. They can perform an investigation based on whatever information you have.

After the crash, call the police. You should report hit-and-run accidents just as you would any other car collision. Share details about the vehicle that fled, including the vehicle’s make and model, color, and any distinguishing features, like bumper stickers.

If you saw the driver even briefly, then share any details: age, gender, hair color, glasses, and so on. Any little detail helps. The police can put out a bulletin and follow up on leads. They might ultimately apprehend the fleeing driver and charge him or her with a crime.

If caught, we can help negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer. We can also discuss whether to file a lawsuit against the driver personally. Never assume that a driver who flees will get away from you. We might even investigate by visiting nearby businesses. Many have security cameras pointed toward the sidewalks, which might have captured the collision and more detail about the fleeing vehicle.

Contact Ball, Kirk & Holm to Discuss Your Options

Hit and run accidents are scary and expensive. Helpfully, many motorists have options to get their car fixed and their medical care covered. Call Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C. today to discuss your accident in greater detail. Our team of Cedar Falls car accident lawyers will strategize how to increase the compensation you receive following an accident. We can also negotiate with your own insurers, if necessary, to secure UM coverage benefits. Contact us as soon as possible.