What are my rights with a run off road & run? (Other car didn’t actually hit)

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 16, 2012

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Insurance Question from Big Basin, CA

Asked on 06/16/2012

What are my rights with a run off road & run? (Other car didn’t actually hit) While driving on a small mountain road around 3:00 in the afternoon, heading home from work... A truck took a tight turn, crossed over the double yellow line & was about to go through the drivers seat of my car. My husband, (driving) instinctually swerved, going off the road. The truck kept going, never stopped. My husband realized he left his cell phone at work. After 3 hrs of hitchhiking and walking, he gets home. We call tow truck & find car is gone. Turned out the catalac converter caught on fire & the car is totalled! Roof collapsed in. What are our right?

Answer given on June 17, 2012

If you ran off the road in an attempt to avoid another vehicle, and the other vehicle left the scene, then you would have to file a claim under collision coverage of your policy. Any deductible you have for collision will also apply.Your insurance company will investigate the incident and may determine that this was not a chargeable accident since you were trying to avoid a collision. If they can find proof of the other vehicle then they will not increase your premiums for the accident.The ensuing fire damage that was caused by the catalytic converter should be considered as the same loss. However, if the insurance company determines that they feel it was a separate incident, then they could apply the comprehesive deductible to the fire damage, although it seems it would be difficult to determine which coverage applies to which damage, other than the obvious damage to the car from the collision.

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