Can You File for Compensation for Hit-and-Run Victims in Your State?
Hit-and-run accidents happen frequently in the U.S, even though the drivers are obligated by law to stop the vehicle after a collision and assist the victims. In most states, drivers at-fault are responsible for covering all accident-related costs, including car repair and medical expenses. But what should you do if the other driver—for whatever reason—flees the scene of the accident? Are you eligible to apply for your state’s crime victims compensation program?
This guide will tell you more about your rights as a hit-and-run victim. Register for DoNotPay if you want to learn how to apply for compensation for hit-and-run victims in your state as quickly as possible.
Are Hit-and-Run Accidents Considered Crimes?
The definition of a hit-and-run accident is similar in most states. It means that an individual involved in a traffic accident—with another car, pedestrian, fixed object, or, in some states, animal—fled the scene of the accident.
While hit-and-run accidents are considered crimes in the U.S., the criminal and administrative penalties vary from one state to another. In most states, hit and run is classified as either a felony or misdemeanor. Check out the table below for additional details:
The accident caused injuries to a pedestrian or another driver
The accident caused only property damage without inflicting injuries
Ways To Get Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
After the accident, victims usually suffer mental trauma, physical injuries, and severe car damage. Covering medical counseling and car repair costs represents a huge financial burden for most Americans. If you’re a victim of a hit-and-run accident, you can try getting compensation for all the above-mentioned costs in a few ways:
- If the police officers identify and arrest the at-fault driver, his insurance company should cover your costs
- In case the other driver isn’t insured, you can sue him or her and get restitution
- You can claim your insurance policy if the police can’t capture the at-fault driver
- Should your insurance and other collateral sources—such as Medicaid or Medicare—fail to cover all accident-related costs, you can file for the crime victims compensation (CVC) program in your state
What Are Crime Victims Compensation Programs?
Every state in the U.S. has a fund dedicated to victims of violent crimes. The states help victims deal with various crime-related expenses by providing financial aid through crime victims compensation programs. Some of the violent crimes that most programs consider compensable are:
- Assault and battery
- Sexual abuse
- Car accidents that are:
- Caused by reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Caused by driving under the influence
- Domestic violence
- Terrorist attacks
- Vehicular homicide
- Child abuse
The compensable amounts vary from state to state. While some programs offer modest compensation of $10,000, others provide up to $100,000 for all crime-related costs. CVC programs usually get funding from felony, misdemeanor, and traffic fines and fees, as well as the annual Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant.
To check which crime-related costs are usually covered by the state programs, consult the following table:
Do Crime Victims Compensation Programs in All States Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents?
While CVC programs in most states—including Texas, Iowa, Georgia, and Louisiana—cover costs caused by hit-and-run accidents, some award reimbursement only under certain conditions. For example, Indiana grants compensation only if the driver at fault was proven to be intoxicated or impaired, while Illinois reimburses only the pedestrians injured in a hit and run.
DoNotPay Can Help You Apply for Crime Victims Compensation in No Time!
Once you decide to file your application with the office running the CVC program in your state, you’ll learn that the application process is rather lengthy and complicated. To bypass all those time-consuming procedures, turn to DoNotPay.
Our app will help you file your victims compensation application in a matter of minutes, whether you’re a victim of armed robbery, the 9/11 terrorist attack, or any other violent crime. What’s even better is that you can finish everything from the comfort of your home by using your PC, tablet, or smartphone.
- Log in to DoNotPay
- Access our Compensation for Crime Victims product
- Indicate whether you’re the victim or a family member of the victim
- Respond to our questions and verify your signature
When you complete these steps and click on Submit, DoNotPay will fill out all the necessary application forms and send them to the right office in your state for review.
Crime Victims Compensation Programs—Common Eligibility Requirements
Being a victim of a hit-and-run accident or their family member isn’t enough to get compensation. You also need to meet certain requirements. To qualify for the CVC program as a hit-and-run victim or another claimant, you should:
- Report the crime to the proper law enforcement authorities in the state where the crime took place in a timely matter
- Cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution
- Apply for the CVC program within the time limit imposed by the program’s rules
- Provide necessary documents and bills to support your claim
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