What Should You Do if You’re a Hit-and-Run Victim?

The term “hit and run” refers to negligent drivers who collide with pedestrians or other vehicles and then flee the scene of the accident. The law requires that a driver involved in an accident remain at the scene and provide information such as their name and license number.

It’s bad that you hit someone, yes. Things get much worse if you also try to get away from your responsibilities. Instead there are several things all involved should do to capture the facts.

Call the Police
This is important even if you think that there is not enough information to be of use to the responding officer. You should also file an accident report. After filing the report, you will have a short wait before getting your copy; you may need to forward a copy to your insurance provider for them to process your claim.

Photograph the Scene
You should document the scene thoroughly. If possible, get a photo of the car that hit you.
Get multiple pictures of the scene from different angles. Take pictures of the damage to your car and any visible injuries that you have suffered.

Get Contact Information from Witnesses
Witnesses to your accident will be of interest both to the police and to your insurance company. As difficult as it may be to gather yourself and talk to strangers in the aftermath of an accident, their testimony will be valuable for obtaining a favorable outcome.

Seek Medical Treatment
If necessary, go to the emergency room. Even if the pain is not very severe, you should still get yourself examined by a medical professional. Some injuries show no symptoms until days after an accident. Seeking medical attention is important for your health and for insurance purposes. Adjusters will assume that your injuries were not severe if you did not try to get help. A vehicle accident directory can help you to find a medical practitioner.

The Cost of Being Injured
If your injuries are severe, you will incur high medical bills. If your accident occurred in a no-fault state, your medical bills may be covered by the driver’s insurance. If the accident did not occur in a no-fault state, then your insurance will have to foot the bill. If you are an uninsured hit and run victim and your accident did not occur in a no-fault state, you will probably have to pay your own medical costs.

Making Claims
If you have been the victim of a hit and run, your main claim will be against the driver; however, there are other factors that may have contributed to the accident. These include:

  • Poor lighting on the street

  • Malfunctioning traffic control devices

  • A poorly maintained road surface

These factors may mean that other parties were at fault, not just the driver who collided with you. The factors above could allow you to seek damages from the municipality in which the accident occurred. Governments are more likely to be able to pay, though they will assert their right to proof of liability.

If you can identify the other driver, you may be able to seek compensation via their insurance company; otherwise, you will have to seek it via the court system. Unless someone just says they’re at fault and pays you what you think is appropriate (It could happen) you’ll need an attorney with car accident experience just to lessen the legal pain of getting through the process. One place to look is a vehicular accident directory for specialists and other medical and financial resources you might want.

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