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Hit & Run Accident - Parked Car - Entitled to Pain & Suffering?
My car was parked outside my place and was involved in a hit and run accident. It was the day after Christmas.
After a significant amount of leg work, I was finally able to find the guy who hit my car.
The hit and run driver denied it to the police initially, but after I finally obtained his insurance info, I was able to make a claim. His insurance accepted responsibility and will be reimbursing my insurance in subrogation.
I sent his insurance company a demand letter claiming pain and suffering. Although I was not in the vehicle and was not injured, I was heavily burdened with this whole ordeal. It was a hit and run, too! It was the day after Christmas, my car was in the shop for over 1 month ($7,000 damage) and I had to do all the leg work since the driver was not cooperating with the police.
His insurance denied by claim for pain and suffering but I want to argue it.
Am I entitled to at least some pain and suffering?
I remember being a passenger in an auto accident a few years ago and I was not injured. I was, however, offered $400 for my pain and suffering. I was not injured and did not have to go through half as much inconvenience as this hit and run accident.
Hello. We are sorry to hear your situation. There is no jurisdiction in the United States that will pay for your pain and suffering for a hit and run accident where you were not present at the scene (you were physically untouched) and therefore not bodily injury could have possibly occurred.
Courts are very strict about this. In fact, many jurisdictions will not pay for your pain and suffering (or inconvenience) when a family member is hit and you have to care for them. Your pain and suffering (their pain is not your pain, and therefore not actionable). Note, they would have to pay for loss wages (if any), but not pain and suffering (maybe loss of consortium, but that is subject to substantial investigation).
It might be a harsh rule, but that is the case.
Why did they settle a claim where you were a passenger for $400 then?
Because you could have gone to an emergency room (about $500 per visit) and claim that your neck hurt because of the accident (in which case the person that cause the accident would owe you for the bill and pain and suffering). You cannot do this here. You cannot go to the doctor and suggest that because your car was hit, you are in pain (well, you can argue that, but the insurance company will not pay it and a court will probably not make them).
As always, talk to a lawyer and see if your jurisdiction can help you find some kind of remedy.
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