The accident occurred when the driver started to back out of her parking space, hitting and scraping the side of an SUV belonging to Allyson Conroy as she went. Conroy got the driver's attention and yelled, "You hit the car!" but the woman in the car mouthed, "Sorry!" and left the scene of the accident. Conroy and her 2 year-old daughter were in the car at the time. Conroy tried to memorize the driver's license plate before she sped off, but was happily surprised to learn that the woman's bumper, with the license plate still attached, had fallen to the ground after the impact, allowing her to identify the woman who hit her car. The bumper has been turned over to the police.
The person to whom the car was registered claims that she let her friend borrow her car that day and she said that she had wrecked it. Conroy told the authorities that there were two women in the car at the time.
Though there were no injuries reported, the property damage to the SUV was estimated to be about $3,000 as a result of this incident. We are certainly glad to hear about the lack of injuries here, though it is not uncommon for injuries to manifest days after an accident, especially in young children.
Nevertheless, the state of Virginia requires insurance coverage for anyone using an automobile with the permission of the owner. The minimum amount of coverage required in Virginia for property damage is $20,000. Uninsured motorist coverage, which Virginia also requires, protects the victims of hit-and-run car accidents. This coverage protects someone who is hit by an uninsured driver and also covers someone in the event of a hit-and-run accident. Virginia mandates no less than $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage which protects you or family members if the negligent driver has no car insurance or insufficient coverage.
The victim of this accident should not stop at criminal prosecution; she should also pursue a civil remedy in order to recover for the damages to her car. Civil remedies consider both the driver's and the car operator's potential liability for the damage caused by their actions. Here, it seems as though the police will eventually locate the driver involved, but that does not guarantee compensation for the victim of this accident. As Virginia car accident lawyers, we believe the driver should be held accountable for the damage she caused to the victim’s vehicle. We have represented several victims of hit-and-run accidents in the past and understand the process of obtaining complete justice for victims in these circumstances. We have negotiated with insurance companies to provide fair settlements for our clients, and when necessary, we have taken claims to court for compensation.
If you or a loved one needs advice on how to proceed after a hit-and-run car accident, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Duffan today for a free consultation about your options.