You can still receive compensation even if you don’t know who the at fault driver is.
Here in Albuquerque, we have been hearing about hit and runs too often lately. In fact, some of our recent clients have also suffered serious injuries when they were hit by another driver who left the scene of the accident.
Many people have told us that they believe they cannot receive compensation for their injuries when the other driver leaves the scene. The good news is that is not the case for fully insured drivers in New Mexico.
In New Mexico, we are required to have minimum limits of insurance (currently $25,000 per person) and our insurance company’s need to offer us the same amount of insurance to cover ourselves if the at fault driver has no coverage. That’s the situation that happens when the other driver disappears and is not found. The insurance that covers us is called Uninsured Motorists Coverage (“UM” and Underinsured Motorists Coverage (“UIM”). They are sold together as UM/UIM and that is how they should be listed on your insurance policy. I strongly recommend that everyone carry as much UM/UIM as they do in required bodily injury coverage. It is very tempting sometimes to cut that UM/UIM insurance to the minimum possible, but just remember, that may be all of the insurance you have to cover yourself and your loved ones.
When you are hit by someone who leaves the scene of the crash, you can rest assured that you will have some insurance coverage as long as you have UM/UIM insurance. This can be used to compensate you for your medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as any other losses you suffer. All you need to do is contact your insurance company immediately after your accident to let them know what happened. Make sure you report the accident to the police at the scene of the crash if possible, so they can investigate and prepare a report. That police report will show your insurance company that you deserve to be compensated under your UM/UIM policy.
Some people ask us if their insurance rates will go up if they make a claim under their UM/UIM policy. We can never make a guarantee, but this insurance is considered to be “no fault,” so it should be treated differently than a situation where you caused an accident that required your insurance to make a big payment to someone else.
Cases involving UM/UIM insurance can be very complicated because there are special rules in New Mexico about when and how these policies apply. At Buchanan Law, we have had a lot of success with UM/UIM claims and would be happy to talk to you to see if we can help with your hit and run injuries. Call us at 505-900-3559, and our receptionists are ready to speak with you 24/7.