Personal Injury Lawyers
Weirton WV

Serving WV, OH, & PA
1-877-321-RECHT
(Local) 1-304-748-5850

Hurt in a Hit-and-Run? We Can Help.

Car accident attorneys you can trust

Any car accident is frightening, but a hit-and-run can feel especially disturbing: it happened in a flash, and the other driver didn’t even follow the law and stay at the scene. In this situation, you have legal rights, but you need to take immediate action to protect them. We can help.

Your first call after a hit-and-run should be 911. Your second should be our law firm. The police will do their best to track down the driver who hit you, but their job is to deal with the offender; ours is to protect you. The hit-and-run accident attorneys at Recht Law Offices have the experience and resources needed to deal with the insurance company and help you recover after a hit and run.

What are the “Three Rs” to responsibly handle a hit-and-run accident?

  • Record: If you can take a picture of the other car or the license plate as they’re leaving, do so. Otherwise, try to remember and write down as many details as you can. Take pictures of the scene and get contact information for any witnesses as well.
  • Report: Call 911 and tell the police you were in a hit-and-run accident. Keep your wits about you and provide them with as much information as you can, but stick to the facts of what happened.
  • Remain: Don't try to chase the other driver yourself. Leave that to law enforcement.

What’s a “phantom vehicle” or “phantom driver”?

A phantom vehicle is essentially a hit-and-run without the hit: a car that causes injury without making physical contact with another vehicle and then drives away. For example, you may have been forced off the road when another driver changed lanes without checking their blind spot. The law treats these accidents the same way as other hit-and-runs, but they can be difficult to prove.

How does insurance apply to a hit-and-run?

In general, three types of insurance coverage can apply to a hit-and-run:

  • The hit-and-run driver’s liability insurance is applicable if they are found.
  • If the driver is not found, your uninsured motorist protection (UM) stands in for their insurance. If you live in West Virginia, you’re required to carry this coverage; it’s optional in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but the insurance company is required to offer it to you.
  • Any no-fault coverage you may have such as collision or personal injury protection (PIP) is applicable to any accident, including a hit-and-run.

In theory, that means if you have the right insurance, you should be covered. In practice, it’s rarely that simple. Many car accidents can come down to your word against the other driver’s, but in a hit and run, it may be your word against nothing. The insurance company will do whatever they can to reduce or deny your claim. They may dispute whether the accident went the way you said it did, especially if a phantom vehicle was to blame. They may also question the extent of your injuries or dispute whether they were really sustained in the accident.

That's why we take the time to get all the facts, starting with your free consultation. We’ll listen to your side of the story and gather evidence to prove that another driver’s negligence caused your injury. Whether you’re dealing with your own insurance company or the other driver’s, you can depend on us to put your interests first and advocate for the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Reach out to Recht Law Offices right away to get answers about your legal rights and options. Contact us online or give us a call today.