A hit and run car accident is an accident where the driver responsible for the accident intentionally flees the scene without providing contact details, insurance information, or offering any assistance.
If you've ever been on the receiving end of a hit and run accident, you know they can be disorienting and infuriating because there's a chance you will never find the person responsible for your losses.
Your insurance company won't have any access to the negligent driver to make a claim for the damage done to you, your passengers, or your vehicle, leaving you on the hook.
There are a few things you can do as the victim of a hit and run accident to increase your chances of recovering from the losses incurred.
What if you are not the victim, but one of your children's is? Read our blog post: "Am I Liable for My Child's Car Accident?"
Am I Liable For My Child's Car Accident?
We'll discuss several of them below.
Table Of Contents
- Gather Information
- Call The Police
- Call Your Insurance Carrier
- Stay At The Scene Of The Accident
- Get An Attorney
- The Car Wreck Doctor
In the best-case scenario, you can identify the driver responsible for the accident and hold them responsible for the damages.
To do this, you should write down as much information as possible and take as many pictures of the accident as possible.
Try to find out the license plate number of the offending vehicle, even if it's just a partial number.
Write down the state where the plate was issued, the make, model, and color of the car, and any identifying marks on the vehicle.
A description of the driver, including gender, race, height, and weight is also beneficial.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them if they were able to gather any information about the accident, and get their contact information.
Whatever you do, don't put yourself in harm's way. Don't chase the offending driver even though it might be the most effective way to gather information.
Doing that is very dangerous and can even be fatal.
Call The Police
Call the police immediately after the accident.
While you're bound to feel overwhelmed by the accident, it's important that you stay calm and composed.
As soon as you've gathered yourself, call the police before you do anything else.
They'll prepare an accident report and record the precise location of the accident, names of possible witnesses, and the direction the driver fled.
From there, they will begin their investigation into who was responsible for your accident.
Call Your Insurance Carrier
Make sure you call your insurance company to let them know you've been involved in a hit and run car accident.
They will ask you a few questions about the accident, so be sure to have the information you've gathered ready to go.
Keep in mind they will also ask you questions to be sure you were actually involved in a hit and run accident.
It's in your insurance companies best interest to be skeptical and look out for possible fraudulent claims.
Why should you pay for a car accident that you were not responsible for? Read our blog post: "Who Pays for Medical Care After a Car Accident That Wasn't My Fault?"
Stay At The Scene Of The Accident
Don't be the hit and run driver.
When you're involved in a car accident, make sure you don't flee from the site of the accident.
Being physically present at the scene of the accident until the police ask you to leave is your legal obligation.
If the accident causes serious injury or death of a person and you leave the scene, you could be convicted of a felony that comes with jail time and a hefty fine.
You can also be subjected to more stringent civil penalties.
You'll have to provide details such as your name, address, your vehicle registration information, and your driver's license.
You should also provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident if you are able to do so.
Your obligation to stay at the scene of the accident applies even if you aren't responsible for the accident.
Get An Attorney
This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself legally after a hit and run accident.
Sometimes the police aren't able to track down the hit and run driver.
When that's the case, having the help of an experienced car accident attorney can be extremely useful.
Sometimes your attorney can help you locate the absconding driver with the help of the license plate number.
They can also help you hold the driver responsible for his actions by bringing a lawsuit against him.
A skilled lawyer will be able to maximize the value of your claim against the negligent driver or the insurance companies.
If you don't have a lawyer, the team at the Car Wreck Doctor will pair you with one that will help you fully recover from your hit and run accident.
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