A Hit and Run Driver Struck a 16-year-old Boy Today

August 23, 2012

A 16-year-old boy riding his bike was struck by a hit and run vehicle today. The accident occurred on Nordica Avenue near South 40 th Street around 9pm on Wednesday, August 22. The victim and his older brother, Antonio Montaovo, were riding their bikes to get a soda when the boy was struck by what appeared to be 2000 Ford Ranger. Montaovo tried to run after the vehicle and actually grabbed onto it trying to make the driver stop, however the driver sped quickly from the scene. The boy was conscious and breathing when he transported to the hospital via ambulance.

After a serious accident it is important to know your options.  Even though the culprit fled the scene and may never be identified, this young man may still be covered for the losses he suffers.  In California, every auto policy is required to include uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.  This coverage can be waived by the insured, but such a waiver must be documented.  Whatever the coverage limits are, that sum is then a resource to the insured  and any member of their immediate family that lives in the same home. This last point is emphasized because here, a 16 year old boy may not own a car, and thus may not carry insurance.  However, if his parents own a car which has uninsured motorist coverage and he lives with them, then he is covered by the same policy.

One of the least known benefits of this type of coverage is that you do not have to be in the insured vehicle for the coverage to be triggered.  The only qualifying event on most policies is that the covered individual be injured by a motor vehicle that has no coverage or less than the amount of coverage provided for in the insured's policy.  So, if you are in a friends car, a taxi, a bus, riding in a pedi-cab, on the back of a motorcycle, walking down the street or – as in this young man's case – riding a bicycle and are struck and injured by an uninsured or underinsured vehicle, then you have a right to make a claim for that coverage.

Furthermore, your insurance company cannot increase your premiums for filing such a claim.  They are only permitted to increase your premium if you were at fault in the accident.

Negotiating an insurance claim of any kind can be a daunting and overwhelming experience.  Consulting with an experienced trial attorney is free of charge and provides a wealth of information whether you decide to retain counsel or not.  If you or someone you know has a question about a potential claim, we at Padilla Law Group, LLP would be happy to help.

{Original Source: Union Tribune}