Any type of car accident can be terrible and life-altering. When you’re involved with a collision, it can leave you injured or your automobile in disrepair. Accidents are an all too common reality on the open roads, and these legal cases can be difficult to untangle.
But do you know what to do if someone hits your car and drives off? Hit and run incidents can complicate an already difficult situation. If your vehicle has been struck in a hit-or-run accident, the steps you take next can be critical in getting the justice you seek.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about hit and run incidents:
Immediately Following the Accident
It can be hard to think straight following an accident. More than likely, you might be experiencing shock or unable to think straight. Accidents are scary, shocking, and surprising. But it’s important to take the next steps properly and quickly.
If you’ve been hit and the other vehicle has driven off, first check-in on yourself. Are you injured? Have you been hurt as a result of the accident? The adrenaline and shock of an accident sometimes mask pain and injuries, so you might not be able to tell until your body calms down.
Call 911 as soon as possible and report the accident. They’ll send someone to your location. As soon as help is on the way, take a moment to write down as many details about the other vehicle as you can. You want to get everything down while it is fresh in your mind before the memory fades.
Anything that you can remember about the other vehicle might be helpful in allowing law enforcement to hunt the driver down. Color, make, model, size, decals or stickers, or even a portion of the license plate. These can all be helpful details to report.
Following this, look around outside the car. Were there any witnesses to the accident? Did anyone else see it occur? These people can be incredibly valuable, and they may have seen more of the opposing vehicle than you did.
If there are witnesses make sure to take down their name and contact information so that the police can reach out to them at a later time. These witnesses can be instrumental in helping to track down the at-fault driver and bring them to justice.
Even if they aren’t willing to be an official witness, see what sort of information or recollections you can get out of them in regards to the other car.
Gather Some Evidence
Once you’ve tried to gather as much information as you can about the opposing car, you should turn your attention to gathering evidence from the scene. Snap as many photos as you can of your car and the surrounding area.
Take close and detailed photos of the damage done to your vehicle, as well as wider photos that help establish how the accident might have occurred.
After you’ve reported the accident to the police, you might be asked to visit a collision reporting center. The police either at the scene or at the center should come up with a full report about the accident. This report is very important and will be a key text in your work with your insurance company later on.
If for some reason an officer tells you the damage is too small to justify a report, take down their name and badge number for reference.
It’s essential that you notify the police of the accident. Without a notification, you can lose your right to compensation through your insurance policy.
Get in Touch With Your Insurance Company
The sooner you reach out to your insurance company to make a claim, the better shot you’ll have at receiving compensation. It’s best to alert your insurance broker at the earliest time possible after the accident has occurred.
How different insurance policies cover hit and run accidents does vary. Many cover such incidents under the collisions section of their policy, but this collision coverage is optional and many drivers do opt-out.
In this instance, you might have to pay for the damage to your car yourself, unless the driver is tracked down by the police.
On the other hand, if you do have collision coverage, you should be able to get the damage covered by your policy. You will have to pay the deductible for the repairs, but you shouldn’t see any sort of raise in your monthly premiums.
If you are unsure whether or not your insurance company is going to comply, you may want to look into hiring an attorney for car accidents. This can help ensure that you’re getting the help you need to get the money that you deserve.
It can be difficult to get sufficient compensation following a hit-and-run accident when there’s no at-fault driver to be found. An attorney can help ensure you don’t go home with less compensation than you deserve.
We all like to think we’re safe and sound on the road, but odds are we all will get in some sort of accident in our lifetimes.
That’s why it’s important that you know what to do if someone hits your car and drives off. Knowing the proper steps to take can be the difference between a good situation and a terrible one in the weeks following the incident.
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