What Is A Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle and then the offender flees the scene of the accident.
For example, you’re in your car stopped at a red light when all of a sudden, another vehicle accelerates into the back of your car, denting the bumper. If the other vehicle simply drives off after causing this accident, you are now a victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Leaving the scene of the accident is prohibited for all parties involved in the accident, and it’s a crime with severe penalties.
What Should I Do In This Situation?
If you find yourself as a victim in a hit-and-run situation, you may be wondering what steps to take now. The first thing to remember is to never attempt to pursue the offender, even if you are physically capable to do so. There are a number of reasons why someone would flee a scene after causing an accident, but the main assumption is that they do not want to be caught, so it’s best to keep yourself safe from any further harm.
Once your vehicle is hit, immediately pull your vehicle off to the side of the road and check if you or any passengers have injuries. If anyone in the vehicle has injuries or suspects the possibility of injuries, call emergency services to request an ambulance. In the instance your injuries don’t require an ambulance at the scene, always make sure to visit a doctor’s office immediately following the accident to receive an official record of your injuries.
Once you have secured everyone’s safety, call the police to place a report for the incident. The police will arrive at the scene to inspect the situation and get your information to file the report. It’s important to get a copy of the accident report after it’s been filed to keep as official documentation.
Prior to the police arriving at the scene, document all the evidence you can from the scene. This includes taking pictures and videos of the vehicle and any injuries sustained. Make sure to also take notes recounting the accident as it’s fresh on your mind, and these can be physically written down or even voice recordings on your phone. Describe everything you remember, such as the offender’s license plate and the model of the offender’s vehicle. Be certain to never admit fault for the accident in your documentation. The pictures, videos, and notes will help to accurately relay all the details to the police.
Another step you should take is to find witnesses near the scene who saw the accident. Having witnesses to testify to the events can help in obtaining proper compensation. Make sure to get down their statement, name, and contact information. Along with finding a witness, keep an eye out for any security cameras in the area that can also corroborate your statement.
Finally, contact a car accident attorney prior to speaking to your insurance company. Speaking directly to your insurance company could result in a lower compensation or the denial of your claim as anything you say can be used against you. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can expect to receive the financial compensation that you deserve.
How someone will react after a vehicle accident is not in your control, but you can gain control of your case through following these steps.