A hit and run crash can be one of the most frightening forms of car accident, and one that happens all too frequently. In the United States, someone will experience a hit and run roughly every 43 seconds.
Between how common these incidents are and how devastating they can be, it’s important to always be prepared to act should you ever experience one.
If you have experienced this form of automobile accident, follow these four steps to start the process of reporting the incident and seeking justice.
1. Call 911
Not all hit and runs result in injury. But regardless, a crime has just been committed and it needs to be reported with all haste.
While you wait for help to arrive, you should start taking notes about the accident while the memory is still fresh. Write down the make, model, color, and any other distinguishing details about the car to the best of your ability.
Also make note of any details about the crash itself, such as what part of the other car collided with your own. This information can help the authorities identify the perpetrator before they have another chance to hurt someone with their recklessness.
2. Document the Damage
In addition to taking notes about the accident, you should also start compiling evidence if you can.
Taking photos of the damage done to your care won’t just help you file an insurance claim later on, but markings left behind by the other vehicle can help the authorities to identify the perpetrator’s vehicle.
While you may well get lucky and learn that the accident was captured on a nearby security camera, you can’t always rely on that. Documenting the crash yourself gives you some insurance if no other evidence surfaces.
3. Contact a Lawyer
Once safely away from the scene, your next step should be to speak to a lawyer. Not only will their services be invaluable if the perpetrator is successfully identified, but they can help in conducting the investigation and dealing with your insurance provider.
Of course, not all lawyers are created equal, so be sure to do your research before reaching out to a specific law firm.
4. Notify Your Insurance Provider
Lastly, you’ll need to report the accident to your insurance company.
Unfortunately, the process to receive compensation can be lengthy — especially since the other driver needs to be identified before you can secure a payout from their provider.
But the fact that you’re a victim of a hit and run at least makes it clear that you’re not at fault for the accident, so if you have collision coverage you should at least be covered.
If You’ve Experienced a Hit and Run, Time Is of the Essence
Any form of vehicle accident can be a distressing experience. And especially so when the other party flees and leaves you alone at the scene.
For not only your own sake but for the safety of everyone else on the road, it’s vital to report a hit and run as quickly after it happens as possible. The longer that you wait, the more likely it is for details to fade from memory or for the perpetrator to disguise incriminating damage on their vehicle. And when either of those happens, the odds of the authorities identifying and getting them off the road are that much slimmer.
After you’ve reported the accident, you can start going through the process of repairing your vehicle. For tips on how to get started while you wait to hear back from the authorities, be sure to check out the latest guides from Motor Era.