What to Do After a Hit and Run
As bad as it is to get run down by an automobile, things could get even worse when the driver who hit you flees the scene. If you’ve suffered an injury, you likely deserve to be reimbursed for your medical expenses. You would probably have a good chance of winning a personal injury case, but the driver who hit you has left the scene; without the other driver’s information, is monetary compensation even possible?
Although it may surprise you, the answer is yes, it is. For one thing, despite having escaped this time, a hit-and-run driver might have little luck in hiding out forever, but even if he does, your own insurance can step in to meet your needs.
If you’ve been the victim of this sort of accident, here are a few steps you can take at the time to assist the police in tracking down the miscreant while protecting your interests in the case later down the road.
- Get the number on the license plate. Even a partial number is better than no number at all. In addition, try to make a note of the car’s color, make, model and approximate year of manufacture.
- Notice the direction in which the driver made his escape. This might prove of some use to law enforcement later when trying to track the person down.
- Try to learn whether anyone witnessed the accident. If you can find any such persons, do your best to obtain their contact information.
- Pull out your cell phone and photograph the scene. Be sure to capture any damage sustained by your vehicle as well as by you, yourself.
- Scan the area in search of any surveillance cameras that might have captured the accident as it took place. Since many shops have installed these devices for security reasons, your chances of finding this sort of thing will be greatest if your accident occurred on a main thoroughfare in the town’s business district.
- File a report with law enforcement. Be certain to give them clear descriptions and impart to them all pertinent information as far as you are able. This will include the names and addresses of witnesses; the hit-and-run car’s make and model; and anything else you are able to provide. While you will naturally hope that this information will help the police to find the driver who ran you down, the police report will also be of use to you in speeding your insurance dealings.
- If you have suffered an injury in the hit-and-run accident, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as you can. It is vital that you do this immediately, even if you feel that any harm you may have suffered is minor at best. In the moments following an accident, adrenaline and stress can temporarily mask the symptoms of what later can prove to be serious physical damage. In addition, if you wait too long to get checked out, you may have difficulty connecting your injuries to the accident that caused them.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
It will now be time to see about insurance. If you can identify the individual who caused the accident, you can file a claim with that person’s insurance company. If this should prove impossible, however, your own insurer should cover your expenses, either through your uninsured motorist clause or through your personal injury, collision and medical payments coverage.
Making a claim for hit-and-run will entail proving your expenses; calculating any lost wages; weighing the value of your pain and suffering; and hoping that the insurance company offers an agreeable compensation amount. If you are not happy with their offer, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in making a claim through arbitration. Unfortunately, unless you can learn the identity of the responsible driver, litigation will not be an option.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run driver, The Powerhouse Injury Attorneys can assist you in obtaining the full amount of damages to which you are entitled. There is no need to settle for less compensation than you deserve, and with a great personal injury lawyer taking your side, you won’t have to. There are also coverages that you may not be aware of that can help you in a hit and run accident. Do yourself a favor and call The Powerhouse Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today: 702-444-2222