What to Do after a Hit and Run Accident
Get as much information about the other vehicle as possible. Make note of it or ask someone else to record the details. A license plate number makes it easier to track down the driver. But even without that, a description of the vehicle can help.
A description of the vehicle includes:
- damage; and
- other distinguishing marks (e.g., rust).
Also write down anything about the driver or passengers in the vehicle. A description of the people can sometimes help in finding the responsible party.
Write down the time of the accident and the location. Note what direction and street the driver fled. Also, get contact information from any witnesses.
Call the police and request a copy of the police report. Although there might not be a lot of information you can provide, a police report can help when filing an insurance claim.
Get photographs of your damaged vehicle. Take pictures of damaged property (i.e., light pole or fence) and debris (i.e., broken glass or vehicle parts). Photograph anything else of relevance, such as tire marks.
If the other driver is caught, file a claim with his/her insurance company. Contact your own insurer as well; you may be able to recover from your uninsured motorist coverage or other types of coverage on your policy. Look over your policy for options that may be available.
Regardless of whether the driver gets caught, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice if a hit and run results in serious or fatal injuries. An attorney may gather any evidence available and perform an investigation. Or the attorney might use the information later if the police end up locating the driver. This could allow for the recovery of damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
For a victim it could mean compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and more. For the family of a loved one killed, it could allow the filing of a wrongful death claim. Some of the damages may include medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of consortium and more.
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