A hit and run accident happens when the person responsible decides to leave the scene instead of facing the consequences. Hit and run accidents are, unfortunately, more common than we like to imagine. The injured party in such an event, which could be you, a family member or friend, is left stranded and in dire need of assistance. Victims are shaken. Someone could be hurt seriously and require medical care. Then, medical bills begin to arrive in the mail, along with repair bills and other expenses. The other driver’s insurance is unavailable. In this ordeal, what are you to do?
After a Hit and Run Accident
First things first – if you were hit by another driver who sped on down the road, stop your vehicle and pull off to the side of the road as safely as possible. Do not ever try to speed after the other driver. You are putting yourself at risk of further injury, and it is against the law to flee the scene. The other driver has shown they are willing to ignore the laws and safety of other individuals. Do not risk an increasingly dangerous situation.
After a hit and run accident, take the following steps instead:
- Police – Yes, first call the police. Do not wait around, especially if anyone was injured in the accident. A hit and run is a criminal offense. Local police officers or the highway patrol will arrive on the scene promptly, followed by an ambulance, to handle the situation in their own manner.
- Evidence – If you are in the right state of mind, try to recall the make, model, and color of the other vehicle. This information can help the police officers track down the culprit.
- Witnesses – Chances are high that someone witnessed the entire ordeal and stopped their vehicle to help. If possible, speak with onlookers or passersby who may have seen something you missed.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Without the other driver’s insurance information, you are on the line for all repairs and medical bills. Or, at least, your insurance company may be on the line. If you have coverage for hit and run accidents, then you are golden. You still need to file the claim, though.
If you can identify the individual, file a claim with their insurance company and speak with an experienced attorney immediately. If you cannot identify the other driver, then your insurance company is your line of defense. For a hit and run claim, some insurance companies may waive the deductible entirely. It was not your fault, after all. However, do not count on this happening. Prepare to pay out-of-pocket, just to be safe.
In some areas, a hit and run accident could raise your car insurance rates. This is another topic you’ll want to discuss with your insurance company.
If you were injured or involved in a hit and run accident, be sure to speak with an experienced attorney. An attorney such as Todd R. Durham of The Durham Firm can make your life much easier after such an ordeal. Give us a call at (214) 222-4000.