Auto accidents can be difficult enough to deal with when the at-fault driver remains on the scene. Yet, the motorist who hit your vehicle might have decided to flee instead of stop. If you sustained injuries from the accident, you may worry that you will have to cover your medical expenses out-of-pocket. In Connecticut, though, you have options that can help you avoid this outcome.
When the at-fault motorist is not found
Like many states, Connecticut follows a fault-based insurance system. After an auto accident, this system – in most cases – requires you to file your claim through the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. Yet, you do not have this option if they fled the scene and are not found. Instead, you will have to file your claim through your own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Unlike many states, Connecticut requires motorists to carry UM coverage. By state law, your coverage limits must be at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Yet, as a precaution, many motorists purchase coverage beyond these limits, since medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering can add up fast.
When the at-fault motorist is found
Your options for collecting compensation could change if the police find the driver who hit your vehicle. If they do, you will want to file your claim through their insurance company. Yet, the at-fault driver may lack insurance. In this case, you will file your claim through your UM coverage instead.
It is possible that your claim’s payout will fail to cover your expenses and losses fully. To recover damages, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. You must be mindful of Connecticut’s statute of limitations if you proceed with one, since it gives you two years from the date of your accident to do so. If your injuries became apparent after your accident, you have two years from the date of their discovery to file a lawsuit.
By knowing your options after a hit-and-run accident, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself. A personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your case and weigh your options for collecting compensation.