If I was hit by a car several months ago and injured but the driver fled the scene, can I sue my insurance company for pain and suffering?

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If I was hit by a car several months ago and injured but the driver fled the scene, can I sue my insurance company for pain and suffering?

I was hospitalized and suffered a broken arm with multiple bruises.

Asked on September 2, 2014 under Personal Injury, Louisiana

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

When you say you were hit by a car, were you a pedestrian or were you in your car when this occurred?

If you were a pedestrian, you wouldn't have any claim against your auto insurance company.  If the hit and run driver is apprehended, your personal injury claim would be filed against his auto insurance company or if he doesn't have insurance, you could sue him for negligence.  The hit and run is also a criminal case which is separate from the civil case (lawsuit).  The district attorney will pursue the criminal case.

If you were in your car when you were hit by the driver who fled, if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, you can file an uninsured motorist claim through your auto insurance company.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your uninsured motorist personal injury claim filed with your auto insurance company should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with your insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from your insurance company, you can reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the uninsured motorist assuming that he has been identified.  If he has not been apprehended or identified, you won't be able to file a lawsuit against him.

You might want to consider a bad faith claim against your insurance company if the settlement offer is unrealistically low and you are unable to negotiate an acceptable amount; however, it may be difficult to prove that bad faith claim.  Most of these cases are settled with the insurance company without filing a lawsuit.

In the event that you do file a lawsuit, it must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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