Everything You Need to Know About Hit and Run Accidents
There’s nothing more frightening than getting into a car accident. We often don’t think about the likelihood of accidents, even though we spend hours each week behind the wheels of our automobiles. It’s likely we’ll each be in at least one accident during our lifetimes.
Accidents in any form can be frightening, but it can be even worse when the driver who hit your car speed away from the accident without a word. Hit and run accidents can leave those injured high and dry, waiting to see if the responsible party will be found.
What should you do if you’ve been involved in a hit and run? How can you work to secure your future stability? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.
Immediately Following an Accident
The moments after a car accident can leave you in quite a state of shock. One second, you’re driving up the road like any other day, the next— you’re dead stopped and potentially in a great deal of danger.
It’s important to try to think as clearly as possible in this scenario, as difficult as that may be. First, make sure that you and other passengers in your car are not severely injured. Your health and safety matters above all else.
If everyone seems to be okay, move your car off the roadway to the side of the road (as long as you can). This will keep you out of the way of danger and potential future impacts.
Once you’re in a safe location, do another check-in with yourself and other passengers. Often, shock and adrenaline can mask pains, so it is possible to be badly injured without realizing it.
If someone is in need of help, call the emergency hotline immediately for medical attention. Do not wait.
Gather and Document Details
All of the details can be important in a hit-and-run case. Everything that you can remember can help to contribute to either hunting down the missing driver or filing a claim with your insurance company.
There are many different types of evidence you’ll want to take the time to collect. You might want to start by writing down as much as you can remember as quickly as you can before you forget any details.
Can you recall anything about the vehicle that hit you? The make, model, or color? Any portion of the license plate? These details can be key in hunting down the culprit. Do you remember which way the car drove away when it fled? This can be helpful too.
Make note of the time as well as the precise location where the accident occurred, and note any and all other interesting details that may be helpful later.
If you have your phone on you, take lots of photographs. Capture the damage done to your vehicle from multiple angles. It’s a good idea to get a wide shot of the general accident scene as well. These photographs might be able to be used later on to help determine how the accident occurred.
One of the most helpful pieces of evidence you might be able to get is witness testimony. If there were other people or drivers around who witnessed the incident, see if you can get their contact information.
They might be willing to speak later to the police or to your attorney about what they remember from the scene of the accident. Having a third party can be hugely helpful in these kinds of situations, and they can help to back up your own memories.
If you’re lucky, your accident may have occurred near video surveillance cameras. Law enforcement officials can help you to obtain the video from these cameras and can use it to help catch the driver who fled the scene.
Report the Incident
Once you’re sure everyone is okay, it’s time to get the authorities involved. Give the police a call and notify them of the hit-and-run.
Within a few minutes, they should have someone at the scene who can take note of your account of the events as they transpired.
They will make an official police report that will be an important piece of evidence later on when you make a claim to your insurance company. They will also attempt to find the culprit and pin them with hit and run charges. The individual could end up spending up to six months behind bars and will have their license revoked, more likely than not.
File a Claim
You can cross your fingers and hope that the police catch the driver who fled from the scene of the accident. In the meantime, you’ve still got the damage done to your vehicle to worry about, as well as any injuries you might’ve faced yourself.
You should be able to make a claim with your own insurance company in this instance.
Exactly how much money you can obtain and for what kind of damages will depend on the insurance policy that you have taken out. You’ll likely need to provide a good deal of evidence to your insurance company and should do so as soon after an accident as possible.
If you’re having trouble with your insurance company, you might need to hire an attorney to assist you.
Understanding Hit and Run Accidents
A normal accident can be hard to stomach, but hit and run accidents can be even more difficult to recover from. If you’ve been in an accident with a driver who has fled the scene, it’s essential you understand what to do. The above information can help.
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