What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
The number of vehicular hit-and-run accidents involving another car has increased by over 44% in the past 10 years. Sadly, the number of fatalities resulting from hit-and-run injuries have also seen a 44% increase. The shock of being involved in this type of accident is real. It’s unfathomable how anyone could hit another vehicle and just keep going with no regard for the party they hit or the damage they caused.
Steps to Take in the Aftermath
It’s important to keep your wits about you if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident. There are steps that you should take immediately following the incident to help yourself, your passengers and any others who may have been involved:
- Check for any injuries to yourself and/or your passengers. Provide assistance and seek medical attention immediately if necessary.
- If possible, move your car out of harm’s way to reduce the impact on nearby traffic.
- Call the police and report the incident (even if no one appears to be injured at the time.) Provide them with as much information as possible about the other vehicle. If you are able to, include the make, model, color, license plate number and a description of the driver if you were able to see them.
- If you are able, jot down any notes regarding the accident so you have a reference to go back to if needed.
- Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle AND the accident scene. Document as much as you can, including pictures of any other vehicles that may have been involved.
- If any witnesses stopped to help, gather contact information from them.
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident.
- Keep records of any expenses that you incur as a result of the accident. This includes medical bills, car rental fees, or repairs to your car.
Involving Law Enforcement
Hit-and-run accidents are criminal offenses. Law enforcement will investigate the accident and try to identify the other driver. If the driver is found, they may face criminal charges. It’s important to take these steps as soon as possible after the accident to provide police the best chance of identifying the other driver and holding them accountable for the accident.
Checking Your Insurance Policy
Depending on the specific details of your insurance policy and the circumstance of the hit-and-run accident, your insurance company may or may not provide coverage for this type of accident. It is best to check the terms of your policy and speak with your insurance carrier to determine if you’re covered. Should your policy not specifically provide coverage for hit-and-run accidents, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage or begin looking for a new insurance provider that offers this type of coverage.
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