How many times did you drive your car and avoided an accident in the last moment? On the road, you never know what can happen and when a reckless driver will hit you and run away.
The thought of being in an accident is enough to make most of us cringe. Damage to your vehicle, possible injuries, lost work…these are just a few of the things that run through one’s head when thinking about the negative aspects of being in a car accident. The scenario becomes even worse when you imagine yourself becoming a victim of a hit and run accident.
According to the experienced hit and run car accident lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, a hit and run accident, simply put, occurs when someone causes an accident and then leaves the scene without exchanging information with the other driver.
While an auto accident is certainly a negative situation, hit and run is an even more stress-inducing incident. What happens next? Will your insurance company pays for the damages to your car? Will you have to pay for anything out of your own pocket? It can be a scary thought when the one who caused the accident is gone, leaving you to handle the entire situation alone. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here are some tips to keep in mind to resolve the situation in the best way possible.
1. Call for medical help FIRST, always – People often become discombobulated when involved in a hit and run accident and may lose sight of priorities (as they long to go after the person who left the scene) but if you believe you or someone in your vehicle may have been injured, make sure to call for medical help immediately. This, of course, depends on the situation, but if you have even the slightest doubt that someone (or you) may be injured, you shouldn’t hesitate. Medical help should be the priority, without any exceptions.
2. Call the police – The next call should go to the police. They can take an incident report and work to collect any evidence that may help to uncover the identity of the person who caused the accident. Once the police arrive, make sure you give them all the information necessary and answer their questions clearly. They are familiar with these situations and they will know what to do next. However, it sometimes happens that the police are unable to track the person who ran away, which shouldn’t concern you that much. Bear in mind that it will take some time for them to gather evidence and start the search – usually it takes between 7 and 10 days for the cops to start looking for the person who escaped. All you need to know is that you did all you could to help them by giving them as much information as possible. Which leads us to our next point.
3. If possible, compile all the info/evidence you can – If you are safely able, take pictures of the scene of the accident and compile any of the information you can remember about the accident. Include details of the car, the driver, what happened, and if there are any witnesses nearby, secure their contact information. In scenarios such as these, it would be more than useful to scan the plates of the person who hit you. Now, everyone has a phone nearby – taking photos of the incident can help you record the car(s) and can help you remember the license plates as that will help the police immensely. In these stressful situations, it is not always easy to stay calm – but it is important to remember to do so.
4. Contact your insurance company – You will want to contact your insurance company soon after the incident as well. They can go over your auto policy coverages, take a full accident report, and help you to secure an appointment to get your car fixed, rent another vehicle if needed, and more. As it is the case with other steps provided here, all you need to do is make initial contact and follow further instructions. The damage to your vehicle will be estimated and depending on your insurance, you will be notified what to do. It goes without saying that having insurance is more than necessary as it can be a life saver in situations such as hit and run accidents.
5. Secure the services of a qualified hit and run attorney – This last tip is an important one. If you are involved in a hit and run accident, then you are the victim of a crime. As such, you very well may be awarded damages if the identity of the person who hit you is discovered. Whether it be via their insurance company or their own pocket, a law firm that has experience with hit and run accidents will work to ensure that you are properly compensated for vehicle damages, medical injuries, or lost wages from work.
You should be aware of this very last step, especially since a lot of people don’t know their rights and what to do after these types of accidents. However, attorneys will be able to guide you through the process and work for your benefit. These are just some simple tips on what you should do when you are involved in a hit and run accident. These are not that common though and people are usually respectful and wait for the police to come and determine what happens. However, approximately 11% of all reported accidents are hit and run, but the worst part is that up to 1,500 die annually due to them.
We hope you are never involved in a hit and run accident as it can be a nasty experience, but if it ever does happen, we hope the tips above help you experience the best possible outcome from such a scenario.