A hit and run accident can leave those involved stunned and unsure of how to proceed. This includes both the victims and the witnesses. While we hope you will never find yourself in this situation, knowing how to report a hit and run can prove invaluable when needed according to a personal injury lawyer with our friends at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys.
Steps To Take If You Witness A Hit And Run
If you happen to witness a hit and run accident, prioritize your safety by promptly pulling over to the side of the road and activating your hazard lights. Once you have reached a secure location, proceed with the following steps.
- Record as Much Information as Possible
Whether you have a pad of paper or your phone handy, jot down all the details you can recall about the car that fled the scene. Valuable information encompasses the license plate number, the car’s make and model, a description of the driver, and any other pertinent details. If you have the chance, capturing photos of the vehicle would also prove beneficial.
- Call the Police
Do not assume that someone else at the scene has already contacted the police, as asking around could potentially waste precious time. It is crucial to provide the 911 operator with your location and any other pertinent information you can provide.
- Leave a Note
If you happen to witness a minor car accident, such as someone inadvertently bumping into a parked car and then leaving the scene, it is recommended that you leave a note on the victim’s vehicle. This note should kindly inform them that you observed the incident and provide your contact information, allowing them to reach out to you if needed. By doing so, you can assist in resolving the situation and supporting those affected.
- Be Prepared for Witness Statements
Both the police and insurance providers may require a witness statement from you regarding the accident. This statement will encompass the details we have already discussed, such as your personal identifying information and information about the accident itself. Additionally, you may be asked to provide your perspective on how the crash occurred, and it is likely that a signature will be requested.
What To Do If You’re The Victim Of A Hit And Run
When your car is struck by another driver who then flees the scene, you’re left with the aftermath of the collision and no one to hold accountable. So, what actions can you take in response to a hit and run incident? Below, you’ll find a guide outlining the steps you should follow when you become a victim of a hit and run.
- Stay at the Scene
It is crucial to never flee the scene of an accident, particularly in the case of a hit and run incident. Staying at the scene enables the police to evaluate the situation and gather pertinent information for the official report, which will prove invaluable in the future.
- Take Down Driver Information
If feasible, document any details you can gather about the driver who fled the scene. Perhaps you recall the car’s make and model, the direction they were headed, or even a few digits of their license plate. Any information you can provide to the police could be valuable in assisting their investigation.
- Call the Police
Immediately contact the authorities to report the hit-and-run incident. Once the police arrive, provide them with a detailed account of the event and proceed to file an official police report. It is highly likely that your insurance provider will request a copy of this report for documentation purposes.
- Document Damages
If possible, capture photographs of the damage to your vehicle at the scene. This will provide the police and your insurance provider with an accurate representation of the physical damage. Additionally, it is crucial to document any bodily injuries, including photographs if relevant, as this will serve as evidence.
- Identify Witnesses
Take note of all individuals who may have witnessed the accident and gather their contact information. Their account of the incident can be valuable in handling your claim effectively.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
After filing a police report and documenting the damage, the next step is to file an insurance claim with your provider. In most cases, the process for a hit-and-run insurance claim is similar to filing any other auto insurance claim. Your provider will guide you through the necessary steps and requirements.
What Not To Do After A Hit And Run
In the event of an accident, particularly a hit-and-run, it is crucial to refrain from certain actions to prioritize your safety. Here are a few things that should be avoided as they may pose a risk following an accident.
- Attempt to Follow the Driver
Pursuing the driver may result in an unsafe situation, potentially leading to another auto accident or encountering a threatening individual. Instead, it is advisable to stay at the accident scene and carefully document any pertinent details about the person involved or their vehicle.
- Hesitate to Call the Police
A hit-and-run accident is a crime and should always be reported to the local police department.
- Neglect to Seek Medical Attention
After an accident, it’s easy to brush off minor aches and pains, but they may escalate into more significant problems later on. It’s always wise to seek medical assistance following an accident to ensure your well-being and address any potential medical needs resulting from the incident.
Find An Experienced Hit And Run Accident Lawyer You Trust
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is never pleasant. But a knowledgeable and trusted attorney can make all the difference in this process. Find an experienced car accident lawyer today who can make sure you handle your hit and run accident properly. Contact a lawyer to get a consultation to see if you have a valid accident claim.