A Maine car accident resulted in injuries for a 38-year-old woman in Holton when she was rear-ended on I-95 by an unknown driver, sending her car careening off the road and into a cluster of trees. Her car was crushed by the impact of the collision, but the other driver never stopped – as required by Maine statute. The Bangor Daily News reports authorities later received a tip that a 28-year-old Texas man may have been involved, since his Ford F-350 with significant front end damage was being repaired at a local garage. He was reportedly not injured in the crash, and authorities located him at a local motel. They have charged him with leaving the scene of a crash involving a personal injury, driving to endanger, and operating with a suspended license.
Many people erroneously think that if you are struck in a hit-and-run accident, you can’t make a claim for a personal injury lawsuit because either the driver was never located, or the driver didn’t have any insurance. which is why they fled in the first place.
However, victims of hit-and-run crashes in Maine are not without options, as our experienced personal injury lawyers can explain. One of the best options for victims is uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which allows car accident victims to pursue compensation from their own auto insurance company for injuries caused by an uninsured – or unidentified – at-fault driver. There is also underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which helps make up the difference when an at-fault driver’s auto insurance doesn’t cover the full extent of your damages.
In Maine, the law requires motorists carry – at minimum – $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in UM/UIM coverage. Typically, though, in serious auto accidents, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses quickly add up to more. On top of that, there is the physical and emotional pain and suffering occupants are likely to endure.
As CentralMaine.com reports, an estimated 42,000 out of 930,000 drivers in this state do not carry the base-level, minimum requirements for liability auto insurance. That means about one out of every 22 motorists on the road doesn’t have any insurance. That creates an incentive for those drivers to take off if they are at fault in a crash because they could face criminal penalties for driving without insurance, and they may be held personally liable to compensate accident victims. Most don’t have the means to do this anyway, but it could result in a loss of whatever they do have or a bankruptcy.
That’s why we see so many drivers in hit-and-run crashes who are later caught don’t have auto insurance.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will provide additional protection for drivers who are:
- Injured in a crash with a driver who has no insurance;
- Injured as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or skateboarder struck by another vehicle;
- Injured as a passenger in a car or some other type of vehicle (including an ATV or snow machine) struck by another car; or
- Injured in a hit-and-run accident – even if the other driver is never located.
This is why it’s generally a good idea to purchase UM/UIM benefits in amounts that are in excess of the minimum.
If you are a victim of a Bangor car accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Texas man summoned in Smyrna hit and run crash, Nov. 23, 2016, By Jen Lynds, Bangor Daily News