What To Do When Involved in a Hit and Run Vehicle Accident

Written by Steven Matz on . Posted in .

Have you been injured by a hit-and-run driver?

Many callers ask us if there is anything they can do if they or a family member get into an accident with a hit and run driver.  Even if the other driver fled the scene before anyone could identify the vehicle, there are still a variety of rights you or your family member may have if you were injured in the collision. This is especially true if you have evidence that the other driver was at fault (through witnesses, observations of the passengers in your vehicle, or through expert evaluation started by the police or your lawyer of the accident scene and damage to your vehicle).

If You Are Involved in a Hit and Run

As far as your medical, wage loss and other no-fault benefits are concerned, you obtain those through your own car insurance whether you know who ran into you or not.  This is true even if you caused the accident, as long as you can prove that there was a collision with another vehicle.  That’s the way no-fault insurance works—your insurance covers medical expenses (your health insurance may apply as well, if you have any), wage losses, mileage expenses to the doctor or therapy, and help with household chores and with activities of daily living, depending upon how seriously hurt you are.

So the fact that you can’t identify the other driver doesn’t have any effect upon your right for those benefits.  Caution: if you were in your own uninsured vehicle there is bad news: you are disqualified from no-fault benefits, and from almost any other kind of recovery for damages that you might have against the other driver. So don’t drive without insurance…it is illegal, and it is not worth the financial risk!

You May Be Eligible For Pain and Suffering

If you had insurance on your vehicle, and the hit and run driver was at fault, you may still be eligible for additional damages for your pain and suffering. If you suffered serious injuries or visible scarring, but the other driver got away before anyone identified the vehicle, you should find out if you have “uninsured motorist” coverage on your car insurance policy. You don’t have to buy uninsured motorist coverage, but you should. It is not expensive compared to the other coverages you have, and it can really come to your rescue if you get hit by a vehicle that isn’t insured.

Uninsured motorist coverage applies to any situation that is described in the policy, or that is not excluded in the policy. It may be that your policy language is broad enough to apply to the situation we are talking about here: your vehicle is struck by a hit-and-run vehicle that nobody could identify before the driver got away.

It might be difficult for you to determine on your own whether your policy applies to this situation in a way that could help you, and possibly your passengers (their car insurance comes into play, too, believe it or not, even though they were in your car, not theirs).  You should have an attorney who is experienced in Michigan automobile negligence cases look over your policy if you get into this situation.


There are many good automobile negligence law firms across the State of Michigan. Matz Injury Law is one of them. What sets our firm apart is not only that we charge no fee if we don’t collect money for you, but also that we charge only 22% of your net recovery when we do settle your case. This is much lower than the 33% many firms charge.  Any lawyer can guarantee not to charge you a fee if you don’t win.  But it is important to ask how much they will charge you if you do win!

We hope this article has been useful to you. Contact us or call 1-866-22Not33 if you have any questions about your rights as a motorist, pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist who is involved in a vehicle collision in Michigan.

Written By Steven Matz

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury. Mr. Matz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with high distinction and highest honors in 1974 from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree in 1977 from The George Washington University National Law Center. Mr. Matz lectures and publishes in a number of areas, including ethics, marketing, trial tactics, and head injury. Mr. Matz has served on the Michigan Association for Justice Executive Board and currently serves the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board as a Hearing Panel Chairman and Master. He is also a member of the State Bar Committee for Character and Fitness.
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The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 33 1/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 33 1/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients. 

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients.  We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims.  Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.

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Other firms charge 33%
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