Getting in a car accident is stressful enough; it is made even worse when the other driver leaves the scene. So what happens in South Carolina when you are the victim of a hit and run accident? Typically anyone who is injured will need to pursue the uninsured motorist coverage (UM) under their own insurance policy. Pursuing UM coverage can sometimes be complicated, and your insurance company will look for any reason not to pay benefits under UM coverage. However, this coverage is required by the South Carolina legislature, and if you have been paying premiums for it, it is important that if you need access to it, you have a skilled lawyer like David Aylor, who is experienced in obtaining UM benefits for his clients.
What You Need to Prove to Access UM Coverage
Any claim that an accident was caused by a hit and run driver are subject to abuse and fraud. To avoid fraudulent claims, South Carolina law requires that in order to collect under your own UM coverage, several things must be in place.
- The accident has to be reported to the police within a reasonable time after it happens. As a general rule, you should always call the police to the scene, and not leave without a written police report whenever possible. If you are unable to call the police immediately, you should report the accident as soon as you are able, either from the hospital or once you get home.
- To access your UM coverage, you must not have been negligent in relation to failing to identify the other vehicle or driver at the time of the accident. This is a relatively easy element to establish.
- There either has to have been physical contact between your vehicle and the John Doe vehicle, or you must be able to produce a witness (who is not the owner or driver of your vehicle), who can sign an affidavit, swearing under oath about the facts and circumstances of the accident. This is a great example of why it is so important to take witness statements at the scene, if you are physically able to do so. No matter what, get contact information for any and all witnesses, so you can get in touch with them at a later date.
If you cannot meet the above requirements, you cannot pursue UM benefits and you cannot file a lawsuit against the hit and run driver. Insurance companies seem to enjoy challenging any assertions that these requirements have been met, which is another reason why it is important to have an experienced UM lawyer on your side. David Aylor has handled many hit and run accidents and John Doe claims, and has worked hard to make sure all requirements were met so that his clients can be compensated as they deserve.
The David Aylor Team Can Help You
The car accident attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices are true believers that all car accidents should be covered by insurance, and insurance companies should not be allowed off the hook by minor technicalities. We offer a free consultation and will pursue your case in the most cost effective yet aggressive way possible, to reduce your financial burden and help you recover the damages to which you are legally entitled. Call or email us now, and let us see how we can help you.