A 17-year-old boy is in the hospital with major, but non-life threatening, injuries after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle in Artesia, according to a CBS News report. The report states that the victim, whose name has not been released, and two other boys were riding their bicycles near South Street when a car sideswiped the back of the victim’s bicycle causing him to hit the pavement.
The driver of that older red Honda compact car reportedly never stopped. Officials, who are investigating this bicycle accident, suspect the Honda would have visible damage in the front. The teen is now in an area hospital recovering from his injuries. The article does not go into too much detail about what type of injuries the boy suffered although it states clearly that his life is not in danger.
Hit and run accidents have become way too common for comfort in Southern California. How does someone believe it’s OK to hit someone with their vehicle and then drive away as if nothing happened? It’s inhumane, unethical and outrageous. This is a tough time for the victim’s family that must be facing medical bills and hospital expenses on top of the trauma of having a loved one being involved in an accident.
Insurance questions often arise in such a situation where someone has been severely injured because of a negligent hit-and-run driver. The first question most people have is: Who is going to pay the victim’s medical expenses if the hit-and-run driver gets away with it? What if he or she is never found or identified? Who would be held accountable for the accident?
The answer to that question is, if the boy is living at home with his parents and they have “uninsured motorist coverage” on their automobile insurance policy, that coverage will pay all unpaid reasonable expenses, plus compensation for “pain and suffering.” The uninsured motorist coverage steps in as if it were the insurance company for the hit-and-run driver.
The uninsured motorist coverage usually covers all members of the household. In fact, the members of the household don’t all need to be named on the policy or even be licensed drivers. Any dispute with the insurance company about the amount to be paid as compensation is handled in a binding arbitration rather than a jury trial.
There are various twists and turns as well as procedural differences between pursuing a claim against a negligent automobile driver versus making a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage. So before you make a claim, please consult with a skilled auto accident attorney. You can also e-mail or call us with your questions.