Liability car insurance protects you after a crash. If someone smashes up your vehicle or sends you to the hospital, their coverage pays for your costs. Typically, you can count on insurance to pay for direct expenses you incur because of a wreck under California’s insurance laws.
However, the driver at fault for the wreck might want to avoid an insurance claim. They may be close to losing their license or have some other reason to want to avoid responsibility. Despite state law requiring that they stop after a crash, they could speed off instead.
At that point, your collision becomes a hit-and-run situation. Will insurance protect you?
If the police can locate the other driver
The best-case scenario after a hit-and-run crash is that police officers successfully tracked down the driver that caused the collision. They will face not only responsibility for the wreck but also misdemeanor charges for leaving the scene of the collision.
If they have active insurance, you can make a claim against their policy. If they don’t have insurance or if the police can’t find them, then you rely on your own coverage.
If they can’t find the other driver
Your motor vehicle policy can protect you in a crash caused by someone else if you have extra coverage. Your liability coverage will not protect you after a hit-and-run collision, but you may have extra coverage on your policy that will help. Collision coverage and even uninsured motorist protection could help cover your expenses after a hit-and-run crash.
Although they are rare, such collisions can leave people with big bills and no insurance protection. Learning about what protects do after different kinds of car crashes can help you push for the best outcome after a wreck.