FAQ Fridays – Legal options if I am the victim of a hit-and-run accident

Tune in to learn about what to do if you are a victim of a hit and run. If you liked this video, please like and subscribe to our channel: Herrman & Herrman youtube channel

Transcript

Greg: Hello everybody, welcome again to the frequently asked questions Friday, we have a returning guest Christian Meneses, he’s back today and what he's going to talk about is what to do if you're the victim of a hit and run accident. So, Christian, you can go ahead and tell us and our folks what they should do.

Christian: Yeah in case you are a victim of a hit-and-run incident, first thing that we always tell the client is call the police immediately, get a police report file, give them a detailed account of whatever you remember what happened as well as what kind of vehicle was there, what color, if you remember anything about the driver license plate, maybe a couple of numbers or letters of it. Sometimes that helps the police find certain vehicles. Next, and foremost, be worried about your health, go to a doctor, if you're injured go ahead and go to the hospital. Hand in hand with this goes, sometimes some people don't have health insurance, we understand that and that's why it's good to call an attorney. First of all, we can help you get medical treatment and we also investigate, we get a lot of cases where people are on drugs and we are able to use several tactics to find the person who crashed into you. Also, we look into ways out for recovery in the case that we can't find the person who hit you, we'll look at for a coverage in regards into your own insurance, that'll be an uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage.

Greg: Let me just get into some few questions, so the first one is, I can afford a house but I can’t afford a doctor, what should I do?
Go ahead and give us a call Herrman & Herrman we have several doctors and different facilities that work with individuals that are hurt like this and you won't have to pay anything upfront, it'll all come out of your settlement, we're able to help you.
What if you're not able to?

Christian: Then you will obviously be liable for those bills but it's important that you get treatment because you know this is something that can affect you for the rest of your life, and the sooner you can get the treatment, it's just better a better outcome.
All right, so you send me into the hospital and you say they are able to help me, and now I'm stuck with a big hospital bill, so is there any other way helping me out?
There are several indigent programs in Corpus Christi as well as other cities and throughout the state, also hospitals when you let them know, for example, one of them is Clinic Hearts, I saw those will help you get a clinic treatment. Also, if you just let the hospital know, a lot of times they will just wave cause some of the charters things like that, once they find out there is no coverage and you have no money to pay them.

Greg: I think there's also there's like a victim assistance fund.

Christian: Let's say they come to us and we are able to help them, either we can track down the person that hit them and recover from there, or you mentioned let's say you we couldn't find them, you'd be able to use personal injury protection or UM coverage, can you tell us how those work.
Yes, so these are extra coverage that you get through your own insurance and in Texas the minimum you must have is a liability coverage. With liability coverage, you don't need the other person if you injure someone else, that doesn't cover you. So that's why there's PIP helps cover your medical expenses and medical bills, and UM is an uninsured motorist insurance, which means if someone hits you and let's say they don't have insurance, or you're in a hit-and-run, they hit you and you don't even know who did that you, then your own insurance would kick in. That will help pay for your personal injuries, for all your medical bills, things like that, so pain and suffering. It's just your own coverage to cover yourself and in case something like this happens.

Greg: So let's say I either went online, I buy my insurance or I called my agent to give me the cheapest insurance you can get me because I don't want to pay a lot for insurance, you know chances are they probably didn't get PIP or UM. First of all how would somebody know whether they got PIP or UM?

Christian: You call your agent you can ask them for what is called a declaration page, a declaration page spells out the coverage that you have, that all include for example if you just have liability or so if you have that and if you don't have PIP, they need to give you a signed rejection and the state of Texas is required that all insurance companies provide you with the option to get PIP and if you deny it you have to sign. If you don't sign, they can provide this signature stating that you denied the coverage, then you automatically get the PIP coverage.
Well, that works for UM too right? Don't they have to get your side rejection right?

Greg: Yes, likewise for UM.

Christian: I know we had a case here not too long ago that we were getting rejected because they told us, hey do you have UM and Debbie called the agent and demanded to see the rejection form for the UM and they could not provide it. They suddenly had UM coverage and she also got some PIP. But, people should have a copy of their declaration page anyway mailed to them, but if they can't find it then call your agent or go online and check.
Yes, and they have to provide it to you.

Greg: And if they didn't sign anything that that means they are cut. And, if a person actor is watching this right now, they think you know I don't know whether I get PIP or UM, you said yes that's something you recommend people get.

Christian: Yes I certainly do, dealing in this kind of legal field and now for the two years that I have been it's something that I recommend everyone gets, because you never know when you're going to get injured, if the other person is going to have coverage or how much coverage you are going to have. Like I said in Texas the minimum is thirty, that's all you're required to have. Sometimes you go to the hospital; that hospital bill by itself might be fifteen twenty thousand dollars easily, and that doesn't really include any treatment for yourself to help you get better like therapy or seeing an actual orthopedic surgeon. So if you get injured and you end up requiring a surgery, surgeries are really expensive and if the other party only has thirty thousand dollars in coverage, that's not going to cover that, that'll maybe cover your hospital bill and a little bit more but what about your surgery and your pain and suffering.

Greg: Or if they don't have insurance.

Christian: Yes, exactly. So I do require that everyone gets PIP and UM. It's not that expensive when you actually start looking at the plans and start comparing it and it's worth it in the long run.

Greg: There are lots of people running around there without any insurance at all, right?

Christian: Yes, we see it every day.

Greg: Then there are people that do have insurance, what percentage you say only have the minimum limits of thirty thousand?

Christian: I would say over fifty percent. I would say about 90% It’s the majority, so yes.

Greg: Anyway so there you have it, you know if you get seriously injured and you know, you got lost wages and you can't work; you got loss of capacity and just loss your enjoyment of life, disfigurement, you had anything else that is not going to be covered by a standard insurance policy, the smart thing is to buy your own insurance protect yourself and assume nobody else out there has any insurance at all, or if they do they just have the bare minimum 30,000, so you know why not protect yourself and get some UM coverage and some PIP. So all right anything else you want to add?

Christian: No I think that's it on that subject.

Greg: Okay, let me just got a couple of announcements here, our scholarships with the scholarship contest ended December 1st so it is officially over. We're going through all the submissions, we should have those within the next couple weeks, and just stay tuned in social media we'll let you know. Also this Sunday, please join us at the sunrise mall, in the parking lot, outside of Sears facing the airline. We're sponsoring Santa sack you can come by and receive cool swag and enter for a chance to win an awesome prize from Santa sack, it's from 1 to 3 this Sunday, so hopefully it's not going to rain all day on Sunday, I know it's supposed to rain Saturday but we're going to be there regardless, so if you can come by and it's not raining, come on out and enter for chance to win and get some cool swag for doing it.
And also our open arms agency giveaway that has officially closed to for toy donations, I want to thank everybody who stopped by and donated. All the toys were given to the open arms agency and to the foster children of our community, and Herrman & Herrman is going to buy some more toys and we're going to deliver them all and hopefully, some foster children can have a good present.

Christian: Herrman Herrman is giving a monetary donation instead of buying toys that way if we give them money, they'll know exactly what the kids want and don't just buy it for them. So hopefully the foster children can have a little bit better Christmas than normal, so anyway, well thank you guys again.

Greg: Oh, we do have a drawing, this drawing is for everybody that stopped by and gave a toy right, and so we're going to give them the YETI cooler full of prizes. So it’s Marla Garcia, all right okay so we will notify her, we have a phone number and we'll notify her, or if you're watching Marla call our office, you're the winner okay.

Greg: Well thanks again for tuning in and Christian thanks for being here, thank you and we'll see you guys next Frida.y

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