Car accidents can shake anyone up. But when the other driver flees the scene, it can leave a victim feeling panicked and outraged. It’s important to set aside those emotions and take some important steps, which may help catch the driver and bring about some justice for the hit and run accident. Learn what to do in these situations.
Important Things to Do after in a Hit and Run Accident: Call the Police
This isn’t the time to demonstrate your vigilante skills and chase the driver. That can make the situation worse. It may result in an altercation or even lead to another accident. It’s best to leave the police work to the professionals.
Seek Medical Attention
If it’s not necessary to receive treatment at the scene or in an emergency room, be sure to get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes a minor injury is actually more serious than it initially appears. Or you might assume an injury will heal in the next couple of days but the symptoms linger. It’s always a good idea to get a thorough checkup after an accident.
Write Down Identifying Information
It’s might be easier to catch a hit and run driver if you write down as many details about the car as you can. Do this as soon as possible, because it takes just a short amount of time to forget. Getting the license plate number is one of the best ways to locate the vehicle.
Make note of the:
- rust; and
- other identifying features.
If you can describe the driver, that will also help; for instance, the driver’s skin color, hair color, gender and clothing. But do not chase the driver to acquire any information, as this can be dangerous.
Also, write down where the accident occurred and the location of where the driver went. An example: the driver drove west on 84th Street.
Get Contact Information from any Witnesses
It helps when witnesses stick around after an accident. Before gathering any other information, get their names, phone numbers and addresses right away. They may have additional information about the car or driver that you don’t.
Report the Hit and Run to Your Insurance Company
Even though you don’t know who struck your vehicle, let your insurer know about the accident. You may still recover damages, depending on your coverage. For instance, while not a required insurance in Texas, if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage, this will pay for accident-related costs from a hit and run. If you purchased medical payments coverage, this will cover the medical costs.
Why It’s Important to Seek Legal Advice after a Hit and Run Accident
Know what to do after your hit and run accident, but also speak with an attorney if you suffered serious injuries. It’s important to ensure your claim adequately addresses all losses – financial, emotional and physical – in the event the driver is caught. An attorney may explain legal options available and look at your insurance policy to see if there’s available coverage.