A hit and run accident can leave you feeling helpless. After this type of accident, you have to figure out what you need to do next on your own. Since you do not have the information on the other driver, you may feel like you do not have many options.
Here are some things you should do right after the accident to hopefully receive compensation for your damages.
Immediately after a hit and run accident, the thought of staying calm seems laughable. This process can be stressful, but stay as calm as much as possible. You need to be able to accurately recall information that can help law enforcement complete your report and possibly locate the person who hit you.
Call the police as soon as possible. You need to take action quickly after a hit and run since the police could still possibly locate the offending vehicle. If you got a look at the vehicle, or if you can at least provide a few identifiable characteristics about the car, they will be able to search and arrest the person who hit you.
You may find remembering pertinent information to provide the police difficult since hit and run accidents are over quickly. If you can provide the make and model of the vehicle, you are on the right track to finding the driver who hit you. If you cannot recall the make and model, at least try to provide some of the more obvious details such as:
• The color of the vehicle
• The type of vehicle it was, such as a compact car, SUV, or truck
• The state the license plate showed (especially if the car was from another state)
When you recall the accident, be sure to tell police the direction the other car was coming from. For example, if the car attempted to pass you on your left, they will know to look for damage on the right side of the other driver’s vehicle. Combined with the other information you can provide, the likelihood of locating the driver increases.
You should also take your own notes in addition to what you provide the police. Note the location of the accident, the time of day it occurred, and the identifiable information you gave the police. You should also take some pictures of the accident scene and the damage to your vehicle.
If the area was busy at the time of the accident, chances are you have some people who saw the accident happen. Do your best to get some witnesses to provide a statement to the police. Someone might have seen the exact type of vehicle or written down the license plate number.
Once the accident is clear and you are on your way, call your insurance company. The coverage you will receive highly depends on your insurance policy. If you have liability coverage only, you will have to pay for your own damages out of pocket or wait and see if police catch the suspect so you can pursue compensation from his or her insurance.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage in your own policy, you will receive some help for the damage. This type of policy exists for this very reason, even if you do not know who hit you.
Once you call your insurance company, they will start the claims process so you can move forward and repair your vehicle.
If you have been in a hit and run accident and need legal assistance, please contact Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC.