What to Do After a Hit and Run Car Accident
Did you know that each year there are more than 700,000 hit-and-runs in the United States? There is nothing worse than these types of car accidents. Not only is your car likely damaged, but the claims process can be complicated when another party isn’t present. In the wave of emotion, it can be hard to remember exactly what to do following a hit-and-run car accident.
That’s why we created this guide. We’ll walk you through everything that you should do after these accidents so that you can make a stressful situation as easy to deal with as possible.
Try to Gather Info Right Away
If you were just hit by a vehicle, gathering any relevant information is probably the last thing on your mind. You’re likely dazed, confused, and potentially injured.
Still, if you’re able you must start gathering information right away. If you aren’t able to identify the individual that hit you, you will need to go through your insurance to pay for damages.
This can be a long and exhausting process. So, if you can get any relevant information that can bring the culprit to justice, it can make your life a lot easier. If you’re able to, try and get the license plate number.
Even a partially remembered license plate is better than nothing. You can also note things like:
- Make and model of the vehicle
- The approximate year
- Time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Number of individuals in the car
- The last known direction of the car
- Pictures of the scene and any damage to your car
Make sure you write all of these details down so that you don’t forget them.
Get Medical Attention
If you, or anyone else involved in a car accident, is hurt you need to call an ambulance right away. Remember that two million people are injured in accidents every year.
Don’t worry about anything else if the injuries are bad. Your safety is the most important thing. However, even if you aren’t injured you should still visit a hospital or urgent care facility directly after the accident.
Many injuries, like concussions and whiplash, can go undetected without an x-ray. Plus, this is an important part of the documenting process for insurance claims.
If you were injured, you will need medical reports to prove the extent of the damage and whether or not it was caused by the accident.
By getting any injuries on record you’ll have a much easier time getting compensation for them later.
Report the Incident to the Police
Next, it’s time to contact the police. Call 911 and wait at the scene of the accident and stay there until they come. When they arrive give them all the relevant information you have on the other driver.
Remember the more information you give the better chance the police will have of finding them. You should also ask them to fill out an accident report.
This is a document that objectively details the events of the crash. It’s important for insurance purposes to get a copy of this document once it’s filled out.
You can either ask the police officer for a copy or drive down to the precinct later to get one.
Look for Witnesses
Witnesses are incredibly important in a hit-and-run case. Odds are you were too distracted from the accident to record any info.
But, if someone saw the whole thing take place, they likely have a lot more details about the car that drove off. They might even have a picture they took.
So, while the police are filling out the report ask any other drivers or pedestrians if they saw anything.
If they did, request them to talk to the police officer. You should also get their name and number in case you need to contact them for legal purposes down the road.
Don’t Follow the Other Car
If your car is still working after a hit-and-run crash, you might be tempted to chase the car that hit you. Don’t do this.
Not only is it dangerous, but it will also mess up your claims process. By driving away from the scene you’re letting go of crucial evidence of the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Finally, contact your insurance company and begin the claims process. Ideally, the driver will be identified and your insurance company can file a claim with the driver’s company.
But, sadly most hit-and-run drivers aren’t found. If this happens, you will need to seek compensation from your own insurance company.
So, call your agent and tell them what happened. They’ll walk you through the next steps according to your specific policy.
Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
It doesn’t matter if you’re pursuing legal action against the at-fault individual or going through your insurance company for a claim. For both cases, you can benefit from the help of an accident attorney.
For the first scenario, the professional can help prove that the other harmed you and should be held accountable. For insurance cases, they can make sure that you get the full claim amount that you deserve.
Remember that insurance companies are businesses. So, at the end of the day, it’s their job to keep as much money from you for profit as possible.
In both cases, an accident attorney helps ensure that you get the maximum you’re entitled to. Even if you’re on the fence, it’s worth it to meet with an attorney to discuss your options.
Hit and Run Car Accident? Contact Alpha Accident Lawyers
We hope this article helped you learn what to do following a hit-and-run car accident. As you can see, an accident attorney can go a long way toward making these cases easier.
Sadly, finding the right one can be difficult. The most important thing is to find a legal team that specializes in these types of accidents, like Alpha Accident Lawyers.
So, if you’re ready to get the compensation for your accident that you deserve schedule a consultation today.