Getting into a car accident can have a major impact on your life. You car may be damaged. You may suffer from traumatic injuries. You may even have to miss work. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, then you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.

But what happens if you are injured in a hit and run accident and cannot locate the responsible driver? Although you may not be able to seek compensation from the hit and run driver’s insurance, you can still find financial recovery for your injuries through your own uninsured motorist coverage.

Is It Illegal To Hit And Run?

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to flee the scene of a car crash. In fact, drivers involved in a car accident are legally required to stop their vehicles. Failing to stop after an accident could lead to criminal penalties ranging from misdemeanor to felony charges. In hit and run accidents involving injuries, criminal charges could result in mandatory jail time. Even with these harsh criminal penalties, hit and run accidents still occur every day throughout the state.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured In A Hit And Run Accident?

If you are injured in a hit and run accident, the first thing you should do is call law enforcement. Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene of the crash will help you receive any emergency medical attention you need following the accident. In addition, they will investigate what happened, write an accident report and attempt to find the driver responsible for the accident.

What Happens If The Hit And Run Driver Is Never Found?

If police are able to identify the driver, then you may be able to recover compensation from the driver’s insurance policy. However, if the hit and run driver cannot be found, then it will be impossible to seek recovery from their insurance policy.

In the event that police cannot find the other driver, there are other sources of compensation for your injuries. In Wisconsin, all drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage that would help cover medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering and other associated costs in the event that you are in a hit and run accident.

Do I Need To Hire A Hit and Run Attorney?

It is advisable to hire a Milwaukee personal injury attorney to represent your interests when filing a hit and run claim against your own insurance company. Although you have paid for your uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will do everything they can to limit the amount owed to you in the event of a hit and run accident. An experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney will investigate the facts of your case, request an accident report, collect medical reports and maximize your settlement.

If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, contact Natasha MIsra Law today to schedule a free consultation.

What is Automobile Insurance?

Automobile insurance is a contractual agreement between you and your insurance company. Your insurance company promises to provide compensation for injuries or property damage that you suffer as the result of an automobile accident in exchange for a premium.  

Wisconsin drivers are required by Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law to carry automobile insurance.  At minimum, your auto insurance policy must provide liability coverage for the following amounts:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person,
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people, and
  • $10,000 for property damage.

Additionally, Wisconsin drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage with a minimum bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 for injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people.

Who Is Covered by the Automobile Insurance?

Personal automobile insurance covers you (the named insured), your spouse, other relatives living in the same household and anyone you give permission to driver your automobile unless excluded from the policy.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Required Under Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

If you are responsible for an auto accident that injures other people, bodily injury liability coverage protects your personal assets up to the stated amount of coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other losses sustained by the injured individuals. Bodily injury coverage does not cover your injuries that you experience as a result of an accident that is your fault.  

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage, on the other hand, pays for property damage that you cause as a result of a car accident.  This coverage pays for any damage up to your insurance policy’s limit.  This coverage includes damages to someone else’s vehicle, someone else’s personal property and structural damage to property you do not own such as a street sign or light pole.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

This coverage is for you, your family and other passengers in your vehicle who sustain injuries when struck by a vehicle who has no insurance or by a hit and run driver. This coverage also covers you and your family members if injured as a pedestrian when struck by a driver with no insurance or a driver who hits you and leaves the scene of an accident. The amount covered is based on the policy limits purchased.  

Types of Auto Insurance Coverages That Are Not Required Under Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Although underinsured (UIM) coverage is not mandatory, many Wisconsin driver choose to carry this type of coverage for further protection.  You should choose to have UIM coverage in case the at fault party does not have sufficient policy limits to cover your losses. UIM coverage increases the bodily injury protection to you and the passengers in your vehicle if the limits of the at fault party are less than your UIM coverage limits.  

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage is a benefit that pays for medical expenses or funeral expenses for you or any others injured or killed in an auto accident in your vehicle regardless of fault. This type of coverage also covers you or your family members as pedestrians if hit by a car or riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

This type of coverage is useful to pay for co-payments or deductibles that your health insurance does not cover, as well as applicable out-of-pocket expenses.  

Other Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

While Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage, many drivers choose to purchase more coverage than is required by law to protect their personal assets after an accident.

Collision Coverage

This coverage will repair damages to your vehicle or pay in the event your vehicle has been declared totaled from a collision with another vehicle or object, even if you are at fault for the accident.  

Even though collision coverage is not mandatory in the State of Wisconsin, financial institutions (lienholders) may require you to take out collision coverage to protect their interest at the time of a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is an elective coverage that pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, vandalism, flooding, hail, broken glass, falling objects and even hitting an animal such as a deer.

Contact Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Natasha Misra

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should discuss your options with an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney. Natasha Misra Law helps Wisconsin accident victims seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. If you have been in an accident and suffered from bodily injury or property damage, you should not have to bear the economic burden. Together, we will look at the facts of your case and uncover all potential sources of recovery.

Call our office today at (414) 635-2833 for a free consultation and speak with an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer.

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.