It happens more often than most people realize. A motorist strikes a pedestrian, causing serious injuries, and then flees the scene. This crime can leave a victim with thousands of dollars in medical bills and seemingly no way to pay them. Fortunately, depending on your own circumstances, if you are the victim of a hit and run pedestrian accident, you have options to cover your losses.
How common are pedestrian hit and run accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 4,884 pedestrians died and about 65,000 suffered injuries nationwide in 2014. What is even more shocking is that about 18 percent (almost 900) of these deaths occurred in accidents where the driver left the scene of the accident, often leaving a severely injured person with no one to call for help.
What insurance options do pedestrians have after these accidents?
The most common source of compensation after a Pennsylvania hit and run pedestrian accident is actually your own car insurance policy. As a driver in the state, you must carry at least $5,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage will pay for your medical expenses in any type of car accident, regardless of whether you were driving or walking.
Severe injuries from a pedestrian accident can quickly eclipse your $5,000 policy. If you carry an underinsured/uninsured motorist policy, you can recover compensation for your injuries from this policy as well.
While Pennsylvania does not require motorists to have this type of coverage, you can use it to pay above and beyond your own PIP payout.
What if I do not have car insurance?
If you do not own a car and do not drive, all hope is not lost. There are still several ways you may be able to cover your treatment and other costs. In some cases, your health insurance may offer coverage, especially if there is a good reason to believe the police can identify the liable party.
Another option is to rely on the car insurance of a relative living in your household. If your parent, spouse, or even sibling drives, his or her personal injury protection insurance policy should cover your expenses, up to the maximum of the policy.
If none of these coverage options are available to you, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers a last ditch option for hit and run victims who have no other recourse. Known as the Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan, this plan allows you to recover medical benefits up to $5,000. Only Commonwealth residents are eligible to apply.
Qualifying for the Assigned Claims Plan can be difficult. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we can help you rule out other types of coverage and navigate the process to receive the payout you deserve.
How can I help police locate the negligent driver?
Even if your PIP insurance pays out with no problem, unless you carry more than the minimum, there is a good chance your medical bills will eclipse the limits of the policy. While it is not always possible, the easiest way to pay for your care above and beyond this limit is to locate the driver who caused the crash.
While it is difficult to pay attention to anything else but your injuries, it is important to provide police officers with as much information as possible to help them locate the driver. Often this includes:
- A description of the car (e.g., color, make, model, year)
- The license plate number
- A description of the driver
- Information of any potential eyewitnesses
- The location of nearby security cameras if you saw any
- The direction the driver was heading after he hit you
How can Cordisco & Saile LLC help me get the compensation I need?
Cordisco & Saile LLC handles a wide variety of pedestrian versus car accidents, and we know how to navigate the system to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve.