As a previous post discussed, sometimes the victim of pedestrian accident, or a deceased victim’s family, may not be able to locate the driver who hit the victim.
Sadly, many people choose not to take responsibility for auto-pedestrian accidents and will drive off if they have the opportunity to do so. In other cases, the driver of the vehicle may not even realize that he or she hit somebody and will just keep driving. In both of these cases, though, a pedestrian might discover that the only source of compensation is his or her own insurance company.
Because these coverages are, generally speaking, required by Oregon law, most Portlanders have uninsured motorist coverage and also have personal injury protection through their insurance companies.
With respect to personal injury protection, the victim can claim up to $15,000 in medical expenses as well as a limited benefit to cover lost wages and may do so without having to even prove the other driver was responsible for the accident.
Moreover, assuming that the injured pedestrian, or the family of a deceased victim can prove the unknown driver was at fault for the accident and cannot be found, then the pedestrian or the family may be able to cover uninsured motorist benefits. These benefits will ordinarily be identical to what the person would have recovered had he or she been able to locate and sue the driver responsible for the accident, at least up to the limits of the victim’s policy.
These additional coverages are very important in many pedestrian accidents. Successfully filing a claim and getting the compensation one needs can, however, be difficult. This is why accident victims who need personal injury protection or uninsured motorist benefits should strongly consider getting the help of an experienced attorney.