If you’re ever the unfortunate victim of a hit and run car accident, then understandably you may be dealing with feelings of anger, confusion, helplessness and overall frustration.
A hit and run accident is when the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident without providing their contact information to the victim.
Fortunately, not all is lost. There are some steps victims of hit and run accidents can take to protect their legal rights, seek justice and be compensated:
Step 1: Call 911
Contact the local police and make certain a report is filed.
Step 2: See a doctor
First and foremost, are you injured? Are any of your passengers injured? If so, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room is necessary.
Step 3: Gather evidence
If you’re unhurt, collect as much information on the other vehicle as possible before leaving the scene of the accident. What was the car model, color or license plate? What did the driver look like? Didn’t get a good look? Ask eyewitnesses to see if anyone got a better look.
Step 4: Write down witness information
Were there any eyewitnesses to the accident? If so, get them to provide you with their contact information. Their testimony may prove useful later on.
Step 5: Take photos
Snap lots of pictures of the accident scene, of your injuries, your car and any other information that might be substantial to your case.
Step 6: Record the details
Write down the exact time and location of the accident. If your parked car was damaged during a hit and run, write down the time you discovered it, your vehicle’s location and the damage.
Step 7: Avoid chasing
If you witness the hit and run accident, never chase the responsible vehicle. This could be very dangerous for you.
Regarding compensation, DMV.org states:
“If you are able to identify the person who hit you, you can get the car insurance information from your insurance company or the policy and file a claim with their car insurance company. If the driver did not carry adequate protection, you can try to get your money through an attorney and the court system. If you are unable to identify the person who hit you, or that person does not have enough insurance to cover your costs, you can file a claim with your own car insurance company using one or more of the coverages mentioned above. In a few states, car insurance companies waive your deductible for hit and run claims.”
If this unfortunate event happens to you, try to remain calm, follow the above steps and remember that this too shall pass.