How To Handle Hit-And-Run Accident Cases?
Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic and stressful especially if it is a hit-and-run case. The other person involved in this case often flee the scene for several reasons. This happens often, and your safety and that of everyone should be your priority. Although difficult, try to keep calm.
What Is a Hit-And-Run?
A hit-and-run accident is a case where at least one person involved in a collision leaves the scene without offering sufficient information or aid to the other driver. It is also the situation when the person fails to report the accident to relevant authorities. In most cases, the collision can be with another car, a pedestrian, or an object.
The other driver must be identified as you may be left alone to pay for the damages caused by the accident. Damages to you and your property may be covered by your policy when you have full coverage auto insurance.
You should speak to your insurance provider to properly cover yourself. Your provider is there to guide you in the right direction as regards the limits of your policy. This will ensure that you are well-protected from hit-and-run drivers.
How To Handle Hit-And-Run Accident Cases?
There are certain steps you must take after you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident. Ensure that you take them quickly to you manage the situation properly. Every moment counts in these situations and you can begin by taking these steps:
Make sure you are safe
Your priority after being involved in a hit-and-run accident is to make sure you and other passengers are not injured. Call the emergency number before doing anything else in case someone is injured. Law enforcement can also assist with medical emergencies.
The reason you should call law enforcement is that there is always a shock after an accident, this often causes stress, impairing your judgment. With their help, law enforcement dispatchers can direct an ambulance to your location to provide you with the help you need.
Your safety and that of the other passengers should come first. You should move out of harm’s way if your car is at a dangerous location after the accident. If you can still move your car, ensure that you are clear of other traffic before moving it to a safer location. This will ensure that you are not in danger of another collision.
Call the police
After ensuring that you are safe, call the police as soon as you can. This also helps especially if someone else is injured. You should also call them even if someone is not injured. You must know that there is a consequence to leaving the scene, so do not leave before the arrival of the police.
The consequence of leaving the crash site varies by state and it depends on whether someone lost their life or suffered a serious injury. Penalties may include jail time and a suspended driver’s license. Calling the police on time will save you stress and time, especially when making a police report.
Additionally, the police departments sometimes get calls about hit-and-run accidents, so you must call so that they can come to help you. They may not be able to do much for you at that instance, but they will provide the help you require before their arrival.
The police after their arrival at the scene will make a report of the accident. You can ask for a copy. You need this as your insurance provider may request a police report as part of your claim.
Get photos, notes, and witnesses
On arrival, the police will ask you some questions. Prepare to give them as much information as you can. They understand that you may be traumatized or stressed, so try to stay calm. If you can, take notes of what happened before their arrival. Take photos of the scene and any damage that your vehicle might have suffered.
Oftentimes, the police would ask if you can recall the license number plate of the hit-and-run driver’s car. If you cannot provide this information, describe the vehicle, and the driver in as much detail as you can. Do not make things up if you did not remember anything. Details that the police find helpful in situations like this are the model, make, and color of the vehicle.
Additionally, think about details like a bumper sticker. Suggesting the part where the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle might be damaged can also be very helpful. This should be based on the nature of the accident. Take note of the time of the accident and the direction in which the other driver is headed to.
You can as well ask people who witness the accident to stick around before the police arrive. They may be in a better position to accurately describe what happened. They may even be able to provide accurate details and the car’s license plate of the runaway driver. Also, request their contact information so that you can reach them should you need their help.
Contact your insurance provider
Contact your insurance provider as soon as the police get their report and you are free to leave the scene. It is better that you call them as soon as possible as your memory of the incident will still be fresh. If possible, try to file a claim on the same day as the accident.
There are cases where a hit-and-run accident is treated as if the other driver is an uninsured motorist. As result, stay on top of your insurance provider so that you get the claim you are entitled to. You can as well hire an attorney if you feel your insurance provider is not treating you fairly. With the help of an experienced attorney, you will get adequate compensation.
Accidents are unfortunate experiences. It can be very traumatizing and stressful depending on the severity. You must know how to handle the situation in a hit-and-run incident. This will ensure that you remain safe while you wait for help.