Why More Drivers May Flee a Car Accident Amid COVID-19
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Apr 27, 2020 in Car Accidents
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a variety of serious health, safety and economic issues in Indiana and across the country. Many roads may be emptier, but there is always the risk of being involved in a car crash for those who do have to venture out, especially now as Indiana looks to begin reopening.
Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak discuss some reasons we could see an increase in drivers fleeing the scene following a car accident and how you can protect yourself from having to pay out-of-pocket damages.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, do not leave your potential claim to chance. Contact an experienced South Bend car accident attorney for legal help. Our initial consultations are completely free and can be done without the need for a face-to-face meeting. If we represent you, there are zero costs to pay unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Reasons Drivers May Flee The Scene of a Crash During the Shutdown and Beyond
There have always been issues with at-fault drivers who leave the scene of an accident. Often, this is because they knew they had caused the accident while breaking a traffic law, such as driving impaired, operating a vehicle without a license and/or insurance or engaging in some other form of aggressive driving behavior.
Today, during the COVID-19 crisis and government-issued shutdown, there are a couple more reasons that a driver may not stick around after an accident:
- The driver may be insured but may believe he or she could be denied coverage for being out on the road during the mandated shutdown.
- A driver may worry about getting a ticket, being assessed a hefty fine or even fear he or she will be arrested for breaking the law by being out on the road.
- The at-fault driver may be unemployed as a result of the crisis and allowed his or her insurance policy to lapse due to non-payment.
- Because so little is known about the virus, some drivers may also be afraid of getting infected if they remain at the scene of the crash.
Drivers Are Still Responsible For Following State Driving Laws
While these concerns are valid, the bottom line is that all drivers are responsible for knowing current traffic laws, even during a public health emergency, and abiding by them. This means checking with his or her insurance company to find out whether they are covered to drive during the mandatory stay-at-home order and following safe driving laws if they do go out. Additionally, most insurers are working with their policyholders to help them retain coverage during this difficult time.
Protecting Yourself During Uncertain Times
Since you can only account for your own response to this crisis, it is a good idea to be prepared for unpredictable circumstances. To protect yourself against uninsured drivers in the event of a car crash, we strongly recommend you consider purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) protection.
Although UM/UIM coverage is already a requirement in Indiana and must be offered by your insurance provider at the time of purchase, policyholders can reject this coverage in writing. However, if you purchase this coverage, it may be another source of compensation, and less out-of-pocket costs, if you suffer damages following a car crash with a hit-and-run driver.
State limits of $25,000 per person or accident, $50,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident and $25,000 per accident for property damage apply.
Contact a Trusted Attorney For Legal Help
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are prepared to help victims injured by negligent drivers of a hit-and-run car crash. We have extensive knowledge of how Indiana state laws, insurance and other factors may impact your potential claim.
We encourage you not to delay, even during this crisis, and to be aware of protecting your health following an accident amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain open and available to provide legal help during these times without the need for an in-person meeting. Contact our firm for more details on how we may be able to assist you with your claim.
Call Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak for legal help today: (844) 678-1800