Hit and Run: What to do if you were in a hit and run car accident

A Hit and Run Accident Shakes You to the Core

A hit and run car accident catches you off guard because it happens abruptly, causing your adrenaline to surge and generally putting you into a fight or flight state of mind. Before you’re able to realize what has happened to your body and your vehicle, the other driver speeds away violating numerous laws. If you find yourself the victim of a hit and run, here are some things you should consider.

Hit and Run Car Accidents, What to do

Gathering Evidence to Provide to the Police and Insurance Company

Here is what you need to do following the car crash:

  • If possible, record the license plate number of the vehicle fleeing. You can do this on your phone if no paper is available. Hit the record button on your mobile device’s voice recorder and provide as much detail as you possibly can. If you have a description of the other vehicle as well as its driver, it can help the authorities find the person responsible for the accident quicker. This is often difficult to do in the situation. Having a dashboard mounted camera can help, and will often provide you evidence to help prove fault in the event of an accident.
  • Call 9-1-1. Ask the police to come and assist you and let the operator know if you have been injured so that medical help can come immediately. The police will file a report, and you can then share the information that you collected about the driver who caused the crash. A police report helps with criminal charges against the motorist responsible for leaving the scene of the accident. It’s also something to mention when filing a claim with the insurance company.
  • Ask witnesses to give you their full name and phone number. If you were able to speak to witnesses, you can give this information to the police who will contact the men and women for their account of the accident. If the accident was relatively minor you can have this information ready for the law enforcement official dispatched to the scene.
  • Take photos of the damage as well as where you were at when it occurred. If possible, timestamp the images for documentation purposes. Your phone will usually record the time and date the image was taken. If asked to submit images to the insurance company, you’ll have the photos ready.
  • Contact an Attorney. You will want to speak with an experienced car accident attorney first to get an idea of what your best course of action is so that you can protect yourself and be properly compensated by the insurance company.
  • Contact the insurance company (if your attorney approves). Report the accident and provide as much detail as you can to the representative. Ask that they record what happened so that if you do have a chance to go after the other driver in court, you’ll have as much proof as possible.

In the event that the police cannot take a report, make sure to get written statements from every witness you encounter. Write out your own account of what happened with as much detail as possible. It’s better to have too much information than not enough.

Do Not Do This If You’re Involved in a Hit and Run

Safety is a priority when you’re involved in a hit and run accident. If you or your passengers have been injured, do not move until the ambulance arrives. They will remove you from the vehicle and assess your condition.

Also, do not attempt to confront the driver by chasing them either on foot or in your vehicle. They are breaking the law and may speed away abruptly, taking you out in the process. Stay calm and try to get the tag number as that is the best thing you can do in the moment.

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