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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

How Hit & Runs Affect Your Ins. Rate (And 4 Steps to Minimize the Damage)

Being in a hit and run accident is frustrating, and to make matters worse, victims often are confused about how to proceed. After all, the accident wasn't your fault, so you shouldn't have to pay for the damages, right?

Right.

Police_06132014The best case scenario is that the driver who hit you is found and  has insurance, but that is often not the case. And even if the driver is found, they may not have liability insurance coverage anyway.

If the driver is not found (or doesn't have liability insurance), your damages will typically be paid under your policy's "uninsured / underinsured motorist" coverage, which all policy holders in North Carolina are required to have.

If you've been injured in a hit and run accident and want to speak with someone right now, click here to contact a NC hit and run lawyer.

Will Filing for Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage Affect my Insurance Rates?

The short answer is: it shouldn't. In most instances, if you're not deemed responsible for the accident, your rates should not go up in the state of North Carolina.

However, in our experience your insurance company is likely to try to minimize the amount you receive for damages, such as your medical bills, time out of work, and other losses. In some cases, they may even deny payment entirely!

The best defense against this is to:

1) Get Medical Care Immediately (and Consistently!)

Insurance companies view medical care as evidence. First, be sure to report everything, right away. There's no such thing as "too minor."

Something small like nose pain, could be an indication of a larger problem that could get worse and require surgery or other major work later on. If you didn't report it right away, your insurance company might say that it wasn't related to your accident and refuse to cover the costs.

On a related note, if you say you injured your lower back, but keep skipping your physical therapy appointments or don't seek medical help right away, your insurance company may use this against you to say that your claims aren't real or serious.

2)      Collect Evidence

Even if you report everything and get consistent medical care, an insurance company might still try to deny or lessen your compensation. If this happens, you may have to prove your claims and this can be a tall order.

Keep any damaged personal items, the clothing you were wearing the day of the accident (DO NOT wash it!) and all paperwork related to your insurance claims or medical treatments.

Collect any pictures that were taken of your injuries, vehicle damage, property damage, skid marks, street signs, and even the weather on the day of the accident, as these could be useful later on.

3)      Contact Your Local Police Department

Since a hit and run is a criminal offense, the police should be investigating your case. Let them know that you are willing to cooperate in whatever capacity and tell them everything you can about the accident - even if you're not sure that it's relevant.

Below are a few non-emergency numbers for police departments in North Carolina.

 

Don't see yours listed? Click here for a complete list of police departments in NC.

4)      Let a Professional Review (for free)

No matter how much evidence you collect, it's still very possible that your insurance company may offer you less than what you may deserve.

They may try to steer you otherwise, but before you settle, give a recorded statement, or sign anything, it's generally a good idea to have an attorney review your case to make sure you aren't signing away any rights or losing potential benefits.

Many accident attorneys will do this for free.

Afterwards, if you decide to hire a lawyer, he or she may be able to help investigate your case.

Want to know if you're being treated unfairly for your insurance claim? Click here to get a professional opinion or call us 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078.

We'll try to answer any questions you have and there's no obligation to hire us afterwards.

What caused nearly 50,000 car accidents in NC and why can’t we stop it?

DistractedDriving3_072120143,328 people were killed in collisions involving distracted drivers in 2012.

In North Carolina alone, distracted driving was to blame for 49,643 (23.2% of all) car accidents that same year.

And these statistics may not tell the whole story as distracted driving accidents are often under-reported.

There are many behaviors that can be considered "distracted" driving, but texting and driving is considered one of the most common - and one of the most dangerous.

While public education campaigns have been successful in curbing some dangerous behaviors, such as drunk driving, distracted driving education efforts have not had a similar effect.

If you've been injured in a distracted driving accident, click here to contact a North Carolina accident attorney for help.

Texting & Driving Campaigns VS Drunk Driving Campaigns

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and many private companies, such as Toyota, AT&T, State Farm Insurance and Allstate Insurance, have all launched distracted driving campaigns.

The result?

An increased rate in the number of drivers using handheld devices (1.3% in 2011 to 1.5% in 2012).

This is surprising because other campaigns, such as anti-drunk driving, have been able to make a much more significant difference over time.

For example, in 1988, the Harvard School of Public Health's Center for Health Communication launched the U.S. Designated Driver campaign aimed at introducing the "designated driver" concept in an effort to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents.

When the program launched, there had been 23,626 deaths as a result of a crash involving alcohol (1988). By 1991, 52% of Americans under the age of 30 had served as designated drivers and 54% of frequent drinkers said they had been driven home by designated drivers. And by 1992, the number of fatalities had dropped by 24%.

So, why haven't distracted driving campaigns been able to achieve a similar decline in the number of distracted motorists?

DistractedDriving4_07032014Texting & Driving Audience Harder to Reach

One reason might be that drunk driving campaigns were launched at a time when it was much easier to reach a wider audience.

During the 1988 drunk driving campaign, there were just three broadcast networks, which the campaign used heavily to introduce their message - featuring the designated driver in popular TV shows such as "Cheers," "L.A. Law" and "The Cosby Show," as well as numerous public service announcements.

Since today's audience is spread across much more than three stations, it's possible that the texting and driving generation may just be harder to reach in general.

Hard to Enforce = Less Effective

Another issue may be that drunk driving laws are easier to enforce.

Studies have shown that public service campaigns are significantly more effective when combined with "behavioral" measures, such as law enforcement and may be able to reduce the number of collisions by as much as 12%.

North Carolina did pass a ban on texting and driving back in 2009, but senators and law enforcement officers expressed concern that the law would be difficult to enforce. From December 2009 to May 2010, just 71 citations for texting were issued statewide.

Police attributed low enforcement rates to the fact that it is difficult to tell when someone is texting versus making a phone call. If North Carolina were to ban all handheld use of cell phones, this could help to make enforcement easier and thus make safety campaigns more effective.

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we're committed to helping address the texting and driving problem - by fighting for the victims of these terrible accidents cause.

If you've been injured by a distracted driver, Contact us today at 1-866-900-7078. Our North Carolina accident attorneys will evaluate your case for free.

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078