When a car accident occurs, both drivers are supposed to stop, assess whether or not anyone needs medical attention, and exchange insurance information. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen. A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver leaves the scene without giving any info, either by driving away or by failing to leave their information behind after hitting an unattended car. If you are in a hit-and-run accident, make sure you follow these steps to make the post-accident process easier.
1. Gather as much information as you can.
Accidents are scary, disorienting, and happen quickly. However, try to remain calm and record the other driver’s license plate and car model/make before they drive away. This will make it much easier to track who was involved in the accident.
You should also record the date, time and place that the accident occurred.
If you were injured, medical attention should always be your first priority. Call an ambulance if you are hurt, even if the injury seems minor. Once you are safe and have received medical attention, record as much information about the accident as you have.
2. Call the police.
Even if the other driver left the scene, it is important to have an accident report on file. This can be used later when filing a claim for damages and it shows that the accident actually happened and is on record. Police may also be able to track down the other driver.
3. Get witness information.
Get contact info from any witnesses who may have seen what happened. Especially in a hit-and-run, witnesses can help to prove that you are not faking car damages. They may also be very helpful if a court hearing is necessary. A police report usually includes witnesses as well.
4. Take photos of your car.
Take pictures of any visible damages, no matter how minor they are. If the other car’s paint rubbed off on yours upon impact, that is an especially good detail to capture.
If your car was hit while you were away, such as in a parking lot, you will not be able to write down the other driver’s license plate or model/make, but you should still take pictures of your own car. You should also record the date, time and place that you found your vehicle damaged.
Hit-and-run cases are more complex than other car accident cases. It can be hard to claim proper compensation for your injuries and damages, and the process may take longer. If you are in a hit-and-run accident, you may also consider contacting a skilled personal injury lawyer who can help prove your case and fight for the full compensation you deserve.