Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
Getting in a car accident is traumatic enough, and having the other vehicle involved leave the scene only compounds the issue. You may be suffering from injuries, property damage, and a friend or loved one could have died, but you don’t know who is at fault, and you don’t know whose insurance company should pay your compensation.
When you are in a hit and run accident, be sure to document everything. You don’t know who the negligent party is, but that doesn’t mean they won’t turn themselves in or that the police won’t catch them. Here are some other steps that you should take after a hit and run accident.
Tend To Yourself And Others
The first step after any kind of accident is to make sure everybody is safe, including you. If you are able, help others get to safety, and put on your hazard lights or do whatever you can to warn other drivers that there are cars and possibly people on the road.
Make sure that you are not in immediate danger either from the environment or from your injuries before helping others. If you can, perform first aid on those who need it. It anyone is in serious medical distress, contact 911 immediately.
Report The Accident To The Police
Depending on your jurisdiction, it may be required by law to report any accident that causes death or injury. It may also be illegal to leave the scene of an accident. Therefore reporting the crime as soon as possible is vital. The police and the highway patrol can start to look for the vehicle before they can get off the road and hide. The faster they open a criminal investigation, the better. This will also help you in any subsequent legal claims.
Take, for instance, drivers that left the scene because they were intoxicated. The sooner law enforcement is alerted to the problem, the better. If they are able to catch the driver, then they are more likely to prove that they were intoxicated and/or avoid someone else being injured.
If you are able, go around the scene of the accident and take pictures of everything. That includes the scene itself, the placement of any vehicles, and your injuries. If you can, document the damage to each vehicle with images or even video. With this information, your attorney could try to reconstruct what happened.
Make sure that you tell the police everything you know about the circumstances of the accident. If you have a description of the hit and run driver, even if it’s only the color of the car, then that could be very important. The more information you are able to provide to law enforcement, the better. It will give them a better chance to catch the other driver. If they do catch the driver, then you will be able to make a claim against them for your injuries or property damage. If there are any witnesses to the accident, see if you can get their contact information. This will be valuable in case you have to track them down to testify on your behalf.
Get Medical Help
After everything, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention, even if you got it on site, and even if you think you don’t need it. That way any injuries that you have can be documented. You never know when something that seems minor could end being more serious than you had first thought. Also, there may be an injury that you didn’t notice immediately after the accident because your adrenaline was running high.
When you get medical care, the doctor will recommend a treatment plan. This is important since injury claims include your current medical bills as well as your future expenses. This plan will give you a good idea as to what to expect your costs will be. The doctor will also decide whether you have to miss work, and for how long. Your claim will include lost wages. Having it in writing if your doctor recommends time off will help your case.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Whether or not a hit and run driver is identified, you may be able to make a claim with your insurance. This will help with your medical costs and lost income. However, to do this you must have uninsured driver coverage. This is included in most policies, but it’s always best to know before you need it. You may have other avenues of recovery, but uninsured motorist coverage is a frequently utilized benefit when dealing with a phantom vehicle.
Contact An Attorney
If you are in Crofton, then your next step is to contact Henderson Law. We have years of experience with claims arising from motor vehicle collisions. Call today for your consultation and we can get the process started so you can get the compensation you deserve.