What To Do If You're a Victim In a Hit-and-Run Car Crash
Imagine this. You are driving home, and a car driver speeds past your car, shattering your rearview mirror. You pull over and see the driver stop at a close distance. He comes over to assess the damage he caused. You both decide to settle through an insurance claim.No one is happy to get into an accident, but at least things were settled and accounted for post facto.
Unfortunately, though, many aren’t as fortunate. There are almost 700,000 recorded hit-and-run accidents in the US each year. Sadly, hit-and-run accidents happen all the time, leaving the victims hanging, unsure of what to do next. These accidents can happen and any of the common car accident types, such as head-on collisions and side-impact crashes, so make sure you’re prepared just in case.
What To Do After a Hit-and-Run Car Crash
The first thing one needs to do is to remain calm.
Next, check and make sure that you and your passengers are safe.
In case of a severe injury, call for medical help as soon as possible. Apply first aid if you can. If you can drive to a nearby hospital, then do so as lives matter more than anything.
If there is no serious medical emergency and help is on its way, call the police and inform them about the accident and your location. This way, the police can come and assess the damages at the scene of the hit-and-run.
Reporting to the Police
According to state laws, it is mandatory to stay at the accident scene, whether you are the victim of the hit-and-run or the one who caused it. This is important so that there will be an official police record that will facilitate your insurance claim later.
If the driver at fault is still at the scene, you can move your vehicle to the side of the road and speak to them about the accident. Avoid any form of violence so you can manage to discuss relevant details like remedy options and insurance.
Police Investigation Checklist
The following are valuable for police investigation:
● Taking photos of the accident and damages to the vehicle
● Noting weather conditions at the time of the accident
● Looking for witnesses (if any), noting down their addresses and contact numbers
After the investigation, keep the accident report for insurance claims later. Remember, every piece of evidence you gather will help reduce legal hassles for your insurance claims.
Gathering The Right Information
Usually, after a hit-and-run case, it is challenging to track down witnesses. Noting the following information in the accident scene can help track them when needed:
● License plate numbers
● Color of the car
● Any pattern in the car like a rust pattern
● Bumper stickers
● Closed-caption cameras in the area
● Workers in the vicinity
More often than not, if you are the injured victim, you may even have to turn to your own insurance company to cover your medical bills if they exceed the insurance claim of the driver who caused the accident.
Dealing with these complexities can be overwhelming for the victims. Hiring a legal service for help is always a good option. Even if you’re just looking for a free consultation to see what you’re options are, call an expert car accident lawyer to clarify your options.