In the event of a hit-and-run crash, or any crash for that matter, after or during assessment of injuries a call is placed to the emergency dispatch operator (911). Then, treatment of the injured until professional help arrives is important, while focusing on life-sustaining measures if needed. As a legal professional, after seeing to medical considerations I suggest taking photographs of the scene and looking for any evidence of the at-fault vehicle including debris, paint transfer on the motorcycle, etc. To prove another vehicle was involved is important, especially without eyewitnesses to the crash. Insurance companies have to be convinced a person did not lose control and then blame the crash on a “phantom” vehicle.
Notifying your own insurance company as soon as possible is imperative. Your insurance will pay for your vehicle damage according to your policy, but injuries will only be covered if you can prove it was a hit-and-run and also carry uninsured coverage on you policy. Uninsured coverage is either included automatically in some states, like Wisconsin, or must be selected as additional coverage in other states. Whichever the case, the most coverage you can afford is the best decision for you. In today’s world, minimum policy limits of $250,000-$500,000 are not unreasonable. Many states have minimum limits as low as $20,000, which hardly pays for any serious injuries sustained. Any coverage above the state minimum is usually very inexpensive.
Another protection that may be available to you, depending on your company, is an umbrella policy. This is liability coverage to protect you if someone is injured in your home or on your property. Some companies offer a “rider” to cover you while driving your vehicle if another injures you. If available from your company, you must request the “rider” for personal injury coverage and you must pay a premium for each vehicle you add to the policy. Umbrellas are usually sold in million dollar increments and are not that expensive but you must be sure they include the rider with uninsured and under-insured coverage to protect you.
You may not be able to protect yourself from an errant driver causing you injury and then driving away, but you can protect yourself from the high cost of medical care if you carry the right and proper amount of insurance.
Tony “Pan” Sanfelipo is the founder of ABATE of Wisconsin and has been inducted into the Freedom Fighter Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Pan has dedicated his life to helping motorcyclists after a crash. He is a 27 year employee of Hupy & Abraham Law Firm who is celebrating 50 years of personal injury law. For questions regarding this article or a potential case, call 800-800-5678.