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Laura Berry

Former Insurance Agent

Former Insurance Agent

Joshua Adamson

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2023

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Steps To Take After A Hit And Run Accident In West Virginia

Being involved in a hit and run accident can be a highly stressful and overwhelming experience. It is crucial to know the proper steps to take after such an incident, especially when it occurs in a state like West Virginia. In this article, we will guide you through the necessary actions to ensure your safety, report the accident, gather evidence, and understand the implications for your auto insurance. By following these steps, you can navigate through the aftermath of a hit and run accident with more confidence and peace of mind.

Our Commitment to The Obrella Guarantee

At Obrella, we understand the importance of providing you with accurate and reliable information. Our team of experts is committed to helping you make informed decisions when it comes to your finances and insurance needs. We strive to provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant information possible, ensuring that you have the tools and knowledge to protect yourself after a hit and run accident in West Virginia.

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Finding the Best Auto Insurance Rates for You

Before we delve into the steps to take after a hit and run accident, it is crucial to have the right auto insurance coverage in place. West Virginia law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, which covers damages to others caused by your vehicle. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage can provide you with essential protection in hit and run incidents where the responsible party cannot be identified or does not have insurance.

When searching for the best auto insurance rates in West Virginia, it is important to consider factors such as coverage limits, deductibles, and discounts offered by different insurance companies. Comparing quotes from multiple providers can help you find a policy that meets your needs while also being affordable.

According to Obrella’s research, the average annual auto insurance premium in West Virginia is around $1,200. However, rates can vary depending on several factors, including your age, driving history, and the type of vehicle you drive. By taking the time to shop around and compare rates, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars on your auto insurance premiums each year.

Understanding West Virginia’s Hit-and-Run Laws

Before discussing the steps to take after a hit and run accident, it is essential to understand West Virginia’s laws regarding this type of incident. In West Virginia, leaving the scene of an accident without stopping, exchanging information, and rendering aid is a serious offense.

Under West Virginia Code §17C-4-2, any driver involved in an accident resulting in injury, death, or vehicle damage must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene and remain until the required information and assistance are provided. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges and severe penalties.

Furthermore, according to West Virginia law, if you are involved in an accident and cannot identify the responsible party, you must report the incident to law enforcement within ten days. Failing to report the accident can result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

The Impact of Hit-and-Runs on Car Insurance Rates in West Virginia

Being a victim of a hit and run accident can have significant implications for your car insurance rates in West Virginia. Even if you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance company may consider it an “at-fault” incident until the responsible party is identified.

Insurance companies use various factors to determine rates, including driving history and claims history. If you file a claim for a hit and run accident, it may result in an increase in your premiums, even if you were not at fault. However, some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs, which can protect your rates from increasing after the first at-fault claim.

It is important to consult with your insurance provider to understand how a hit and run accident may affect your rates. Additionally, it is advisable to compare quotes from different insurance companies to see if switching providers can offer you more affordable coverage after such an incident.

Essential Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run in West Virginia

Prioritizing Safety: Checking for Injuries After a Hit-and-Run

Immediately after a hit and run accident, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. If you or anyone else in your vehicle is injured, call 911 or seek medical attention right away. Your well-being should always be the first concern in any accident situation.

If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the shoulder of the road, and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. This will help prevent further accidents and ensure that you are visible to law enforcement when they arrive at the scene.

Reporting the Accident: What You Need to Know

Once you have ensured your safety, it is important to report the hit and run accident to the proper authorities. In West Virginia, you should call local law enforcement to report the incident. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the accident, including the location, time, and any descriptions of the other vehicle involved, if available.

When speaking to law enforcement, be sure to remain calm and provide factual information. Avoid speculating about the other driver’s intentions or engaging in any confrontations. It is the responsibility of law enforcement to investigate the incident and identify the responsible party.

If you are unable to contact law enforcement immediately, you must report the hit and run accident within ten days, as mandated by West Virginia law. Failure to report the accident can result in legal consequences, including the suspension of your driver’s license.

Gathering Crucial Evidence for Hit-and-Run Cases

To improve the chances of identifying the responsible driver in a hit and run accident, gathering crucial evidence is essential. As soon as it is safe to do so, try to document as much information as possible. This may include:

  • Writing down details about the incident, such as the time, location, and direction of travel of the other vehicle
  • Taking photos or videos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle and any debris left behind by the other vehicle
  • Speaking to witnesses and obtaining their contact information in case they can provide valuable information to law enforcement
  • Checking nearby surveillance cameras for any recordings that may have captured the hit and run accident

Remember, every bit of information and evidence can potentially help law enforcement solve the case and hold the responsible party accountable.

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Unraveling the Mystery: Will Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run?

One common concern for victims of hit and run accidents is whether their insurance will cover the damages. In West Virginia, uninsured motorist coverage can provide you with essential protection in hit and run incidents where the responsible party does not have insurance or cannot be identified.

Uninsured motorist coverage can help cover the costs associated with repairing your vehicle and any medical expenses you incur as a result of the accident. This coverage is not mandatory in West Virginia, but it is strongly recommended to protect yourself financially in case of a hit and run or any accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.

It is important to review your auto insurance policy or speak to your insurance provider to understand the specific coverage limits and conditions of your uninsured motorist policy. By having this coverage in place, you can have greater peace of mind knowing that you are protected even in hit and run situations.

Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions about Hit-and-Runs

Q: What should I do if I witness a hit and run accident in West Virginia?
A: If you witness a hit and run accident in West Virginia, try to gather as much information as possible about the incident, including the license plate number and a description of the vehicle. Report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible and provide them with accurate details to aid their investigation.

Q: Can I sue the responsible party in a hit and run accident?
A: If the responsible party in a hit and run accident is identified, you may have the option to file a lawsuit against them for damages. Consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in hit and run cases to understand your legal options and the best course of action to take.

Q: Will my insurance rates increase if I report a hit and run accident?
A: Reporting a hit and run accident to your insurance company may result in an increase in your premiums, even if you were not at fault for the incident. However, each insurance company has their own guidelines and factors that determine rate increases. It is advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand how reporting a hit and run accident may impact your rates.

In conclusion, being involved in a hit and run accident in West Virginia can be a challenging experience. However, by taking the proper steps to ensure your safety, report the incident, gather evidence, and understand your insurance coverage, you can navigate through this difficult situation with greater confidence. Remember to prioritize your well-being, cooperate with law enforcement, and seek legal guidance if needed. By being proactive and well-informed, you can protect yourself and set a strong foundation for a successful resolution to your hit and run case.

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