Coming out of your house or the grocery store to see a crater-sized dent in your parked car is frustrating enough. But then it’s made worse when you realize the driver responsible is nowhere to be found and didn’t even leave a note. Now you have a damaged car through no fault of your own, and another person’s thoughtlessness has left you in a difficult spot.
Even if law enforcement finds the driver, there’s no guarantee they’ll be insured. It’s probably why they didn’t leave the info in the first place. However, you still have options and can do a few things to help your situation.
The accident could have happened at any moment while you were away. If you’re lucky, it could have occurred moments ago, and bystanders could provide valuable witness testimony.
But don’t worry. Even if the accident happened hours before you got to the scene, you still have a chance to find the driver and hold them accountable.
Your car might have been hit outside a public business like a grocery store or parking garage. These places might have security staff that witnessed the accident or video footage of how it went down.
This footage could reveal the car’s make, model, and license plate. You might also see the driver’s face, depending on if they got out of the vehicle to check the damage. This footage could help law enforcement track down the responsible party to get your damages covered.
Public businesses, neighborhoods, and other busy areas might get tons of foot traffic. Ask around and see if anyone witnessed the accident. Their testimony could also provide valuable information about the car. Or, if they saw the driver get, they could accurately describe their appearance to the police.
Take photos of your vehicle’s damage, no matter how minor. Even small nicks to your car’s paint job could cost a lot to repair. Capturing all your car’s damage also helps provide an accurate estimate of the total amount you’ll need to fix it. If police find the at-fault driver, they could be responsible for all the repairs.
Depending on the scenario, there are various ways to recover compensation for car repairs related to a hit-and-run accident.
The most logical way is to seek damages from the at-fault party. When a car accident occurs in Illinois, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for all the losses you suffered. This hinges on whether law enforcement finds the responsible driver. Furthermore, you’re also banking on the fact they are properly insured, which is unlikely since they didn’t leave their information.
Uninsured motorist property damage coverage might benefit you if a driver hits your parked car and bolts. This is an add-on policy separate from your typical uninsured motorist coverage since UM only covers your medical bills. The maximum available coverage for UMPD is $15,000, and you’ll have to pay a $250 deductible.
Although this may seem like the right option, there’s one caveat—you must still identify the at-fault driver. So, if law enforcement’s investigation of your case doesn’t produce any results, you might have to choose another option.
If you want to ensure all car repairs are taken care of after an accident—regardless of fault—you need collision coverage.
So, if a driver hit you and got away with it, your repairs would still get covered under your policy. However, you might still get stuck with a deductible ranging from $0-$1,000.
Hit-and-run accidents happen all the time, and regardless of whether you were parked or driving at the time, you could be left to pay out of pocket without proper coverage. Ensuring you add collision coverage to your policy could soften the blow, but it’s important to discuss all your legal options with a lawyer, especially if you’re injured.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago personal injury team has handled cases like these before and helped victims secure the financial relief they deserve. Let us explain your recovery options and the best ways to move forward. Call (312) 236-2900 for a free consult.