4 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH HIT AND RUN ACCIDENTS
The roads are not as safe as we would like them to be. With about 52% of all personal injury lawsuits being caused by automobile accidents, it's clear that there are plenty of drivers who aren't being quite as cognizant of the dangers of the road as they should be. Car accidents are incredibly stressful events, sometimes involving serious injuries or even death. But if you've been in a car accident and are left conscious and able to act, there are certain things that you need to do immediately in order to ensure that not only is everyone safe but that you're legally protected as well.
Unfortunately, not all drivers have the same standards regarding how they should act following an accident. Not only do some drivers fail to report the accident in a timely manner; they may even attempt a hit and run. Becoming the victim of a hit and run is understandably quite shocking. But the more you know about what to do, the more you can advocate for yourself if this happens to you.
1. CALL 911
Whether or not you were seriously injured in your accident, a crime has occurred if someone has committed a hit and run. You need to report the accident. As help is on the way, you should write down the details that you remember regarding the other vehicle. Consider color, make and model, and of course any details that you may recall about the license plate. This can obviously be more difficult if you were injured in the accident. In that case, focus on your health. But afterward, try to consider what you recall about the incident.
2. TAKE PHOTOS
If you are able, take photographs at the scene of the accident. This would include not only photos of any track marks or dents that would be indicative of the other vehicle's presence, but the damage that was done to your car. The more evidence that you have in your favor, the better. But keep in mind too that there will probably be video evidence available, whether from dashcams or security footage or both.
3. SPEAK WITH A LAWYER
You shouldn't hesitate to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer after you report the accident. A personal injury lawyer can potentially help you investigate the case and secure the kind of information that you need to know as you pursue justice. A hit and run will usually become a criminal case. But after the police track down the driver, as they often are able to do, you may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit will allow you to be compensated for medical bills, property damage, and potentially emotional damage as well. It's important that you work with a car accident attorney who has experience with these types of issues. It's impossible for you to know exactly how to handle this case yourself; a lawyer can give you the legal advice you need.
4. NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
You need to let your car insurance provider know about the issue as soon as possible. Obviously, you won't immediately be able to receive compensation from the other driver's provider. But at the same time, the fact that you're dealing with a hit and run indicates that you probably aren't at fault in the accident (though this is not inherently the case, and shared blame is certainly possible). If you have collision coverage, you will generally be covered in the case of a hit and run accident. Those that don't have collision coverage will usually not be covered, which is why it's important to report the accident and pursue solving the crime.
A hit and run accident can be incredibly traumatic, not just physically but mentally. This is one reason why, when the perpetrators are identified, victims often pursue personal injury lawsuits. Drivers who cause car accidents need to face consequences, not just legally but financially as well. Furthermore, if you have been injured in any way in an accident, you shouldn't have to cover all of your own bills and losses.