Near the end of August, a motorcyclist was seriously injured in a hit and run accident on the F.E. Everett Turnpike North in Nashua. The crash was somewhat unusual in that most motorcycle accidents occur in urban areas, and a very small percentage take place on interstates and expressways. The collision also warranted special attention because the driver who hit the motorcyclist left the scene.
Motorcycle Hit and Run in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, operators of motor vehicles–including motorcycles–are required to stop and take certain actions if they are involved in a traffic crash. These obligations apply to any driver involved in the crash, without regard to who was at fault. Failure to stop and to provide certain information is a crime in New Hampshire and may result in a criminal conviction, jail time, fines, points on the responsible driver’s license, and perhaps court-ordered restitution to the victim.
Of course, all of that depends on the hit and run driver being identified. Most are not. That can leave a hit and run victim in a difficult situation. Here’s what a victim like the Nashua motorcyclist or any victim of a hit and run driver in New Hampshire can expect.
Remedies for Hit and Run Victims
A driver who is negligent and causes an accident is generally responsible for the harm they caused. If they carry motor vehicle insurance, the insurance carrier will typically be the one to negotiate with the injured party’s lawyer, fight the case in court if it goes to trial, and make payment of the settlement or verdict amount. But, not every driver has automobile insurance. In fact, in New Hampshire, neither drivers nor motorcyclists are required to carry liability insurance.
Interestingly, though New Hampshire is unique in not requiring coverage, the state has one of the lowest rates of uninsured motorists in the country. Still, it’s estimated that more than 6% of New Hampshire drivers are uninsured. That alone is sufficient reason for New Hampshire drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. But, there’s another reason many people aren’t aware of: uninsured motorist coverage also covers damages caused by a hit and run driver.
Pursuing Damages after a Hit and Run Accident
If a hit and run driver is identified, the process of pursuing damages is the same as it would be after an ordinary motor vehicle or car-on-motorcycle accident. If the hit and run driver is insured, the claim proceeds through the insurance carrier. If the driver is uninsured, the injured party can pursue compensation directly from the responsible driver, or can file a claim with their own uninsured motorist coverage.
However, if the driver isn’t identified, the injured party hits a dead end with pursuing a claim against the responsible driver or the driver’s insurance company. In that situation, the injured person’s only recourse will likely be to pursue a claim under their own uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Claims in New Hampshire
You file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company, but you shouldn’t assume that means the process will be simpler or that the company will automatically pay fair compensation. The process of establishing an uninsured motorist claim is similar to the process required to establish a claim with the responsible party’s insurance carrier. That is, you will be expected to prove that the hit and run driver was responsible for the accident and subsequent damages, and you will be required to present proof of any damages you claim.
In some cases, you may even have to fight your own insurance company for fair compensation. Because the process can be complicated and your insurance carrier may be resistant to payment–especially if your damages are significant and your coverage limits are high–it is in your best interest to work with an experienced New Hampshire motor vehicle accident.
To learn more about how we can help, call 978-459-3085 right now or fill out our contact form.
Have you been injured?
Let Attorney Kevin Broderick answer your questions and evaluate your personal injury or vehicle accident case for free!
CALL TODAY 978-459-3085
Kevin Broderick Law serves clients in Massachusetts and
Areas of service in
Areas of Service in
The information you obtain on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.