It’s a scary thing to think about because it could happen to anyone. You’re driving along, enjoying the scenery on a nice day when suddenly you hear the sound of an impact from behind you, and then your car is spinning out of control.
A hit-and-run accident has just happened, leaving you wondering what to do next. If this sounds like something that might have occurred in your life (or could happen in the future), don’t worry!
You can take several steps to improve your chances of getting compensated for medical bills, property damage, and much more.
Call 911 Right Away
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, the first thing you need to do is call 911. It’s vital to get the police on your side right away and report the accident.
They’ll come out, collect evidence from where it happened, and then try their best to find whoever is responsible for leaving you with smashed car windows or a new dent in your bumper.
If you have been injured, 911 will send an ambulance and paramedics to your location.
If you are not injured, but the damage to your car is substantial enough that it could cause a problem for you later on down the line, an officer will be there to file a comprehensive report.
Don’t Leave the Hit-and-Run Accident Scene
Don’t be tempted to leave the accident scene to pursue the other driver. If you do this, it won’t be considered a hit-and-run accident.
You may not know the other driver’s identity, and they could have been involved in another car crash or taken off to get help from somewhere else.
Furthermore, if you leave without gathering substantial evidence from where your car was damaged, an insurance company may refuse to pay your claim.
Instead, let the police pursue the other car while you wait for them to return.
They will get the right information from the other driver, which can help your case later on when it comes time to filing a claim with an insurance company or taking legal action against the other motorist.
Seek Medical Attention
It is critical to seek medical attention even if you think you have not been injured.
You may have been injured and are not aware of the extent. It is also essential to see a doctor if something was thrown at your car that could cause damage later on or left debris that could cause an injury.
Some injuries will only start to manifest hours or days after the incident, and it is crucial to be checked by a qualified doctor and get treated.
If there were any passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident, they need to see a doctor too. They may not have been injured during this particular hit-and-run accident, but the pain and other injuries may start to manifest later on.
It is also up to you whether or not you want a drug and alcohol screen conducted before seeking medical attention so that those substances can be ruled out as the cause of the accident.
Note Down Important Information about the Other Car and Driver
If you can get the license plate number and a description of the other car, it will help file your insurance claim.
You should also note down any identifying information about the driver if possible. Even if they manage to flee and you can identify them, this can help with an investigation later on. It may even lead police to the driver’s residence.
It is also helpful to note down any identifying information about yourself, including if you were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and whether or not your car was in motion at the time.
This can help with investigations down the line when it comes to filing an insurance claim because it may lead to a more comprehensive investigation of the other driver’s car.
Take Pictures of the Hit-and-Run Accident Scene
It is essential to document the accident scene as soon as possible. Take pictures of where the other car was when you first saw it and how they were driving, as well as any damage to your vehicle.
It is also essential to take a picture of yourself after the accident so that there can be no question about what state you are in at the time.
Photos will help with insurance claims because you will be able to show the other driver’s car in addition to your vehicle and any damage that has been done.
Take pictures of any identifying information from the other motorist, such as their license plate or anything inside their vehicle with an address on it, to help you file a strong case.
Connect with Possible Eye Witnesses
It is important to connect with any possible witnesses who saw the other vehicle before or after the accident.
If you can find an eyewitness, take their name and contact information so that they can point out where they saw your car and provide a chronological breakdown of what led to the accident.
Witnesses can help describe the other vehicle and driver. They can also help describe the accident scene to help with your insurance claim, as well as any particular steps you should take if you are injured.
If the accident happened near a business premise, check to see if the employees have security cameras that you can check the footage from, and this will also be helpful in filing your insurance claim.
File an Insurance Claim
While you are still at the accident scene, call your insurance representative to file a hit-and-run insurance claim.
This will help you start the ball rolling to get your vehicle repaired, and it can also be helpful for investigators to get started on your case.
Ensure you inform the insurance agent how the accident happened and any evidence you may have collected to support your case, including any witnesses you spoke with.
In addition to filing your insurance claim at the accident scene, make sure you continue following up on it and keep all records related to this incident for as long as possible so that investigators can look through them when they start their investigation into what happened.
Follow up with your auto insurance company every time you find new information, and don’t forget to inform them when your mechanic gets back to you about your car evaluation.
Keep Track of Your Car Repairs
It is always a good idea to be involved throughout the entire process of your car repairs.
If you feel overwhelmed by the insurance company, let them know and ask for help or guidance.
They should be able to provide a list of authorized mechanics in your area that they recommend working with, which will make it easier to find one that is qualified and affordable as well.
It’s also important not to let your mechanic work on your car without you being there.
They should be able to estimate how long the repairs will take and what needs to be done before they start tackling them, which can help with any other scheduling conflicts that may arise if multiple people are involved in the process.
Let your insurance company hold any discussions with the other driver after the accident. If the other motorist’s insurance company wants to talk with you, be sure to direct them to your insurance provider.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Finally, make sure you hire an experienced car accident attorney to help you with the complexities of your case.
Your attorney will fight for you and ensure that you are compensated for any injuries and damages suffered.
An experienced attorney will also collect all the evidence, such as witness statements or photos of your car at the scene, and organize this information in a way that can be easily presented to insurers, so they understand how strong your case is and what needs to be done.
An experienced car accident attorney knows how to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company and how to work with your own to get you the rightful compensation you deserve.
Hit-and Run What To Do: Let Us Help You!
Have you or your loved one been involved in a hit-and-run accident?
Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Legal Giant today. We have an excellent record in dealing with these types of cases and will help you get back on your feet after this horrible experience.