All car accidents are shocking and unpleasant. They become even more of a pain when the other driver leaves the scene of an accident they caused.
Unfortunately, hit and run incidents are on the rise.
You must take the proper procedures after an incident like this. Doing so will increase the chances of the perpetrator being found, and you getting the compensation you deserve.
Here’s what to do if you’re the victim of a hit and run.
Evaluate Your Injuries
If you’re the victim of a hit and run while driving, the accident may leave you injured.
There may be other distractions after an accident, but your health is your first priority.
If you think you have a serious injury, you or someone nearby should immediately call for an ambulance.
If you appear to have only minor injuries or none at all, there’s less urgency. But you should always go to a doctor soon after an accident, regardless of the severity of your injuries. Many injuries are undetectable and have a delayed symptoms.
If you don’t need immediate medical attention, your focus should shift to gathering as much information as possible.
If you see the other driver speeding away, try to remember details about the car. The license plate is the most valuable piece of information. Other details that can help are color, make and model, and the direction the car left.
You should also make note of the time and location of the accident.
If there were witnesses around, ask them some questions to try to verify what you saw. Take down names and phone numbers so the police can contact them as well.
Write down all the information as soon as possible. Make a note on your phone or use a pen and notebook if you have them in your car. Writing the info down will help keep your story straight amidst the confusion of the day.
Taking photos of your car can also help with the police search and insurance claims.
Call the Police
File a report with the police as soon as you can. By law in many states, drivers in an accident must call the police and wait for an officer to arrive at the scene.
Pass all the information you have gathered to the police, including contact information for any witnesses.
The police will use your information to conduct an investigation. Hopefully, they will be able to track down the vehicle and the driver.
File an Insurance Claim
After talking with police, call your insurance agent. They will help you file a claim for an insurance payment.
You will need to provide your insurance company the same information you gave to the police. The more information you have, the more likely your claim will be successful.
The compensation you receive depends on your own insurance and the insurance of the driver if he or she is identified. There are many different ways insurance claims are settled after an accident.
Hire a Hit and Run Lawyer
If the police are able to find the driver, you can sue him or her for compensatory damages. You may even have a case for additional punitive damages because they left the scene.
If you choose to sue, you’ll want to hire a lawyer with expertise on personal injury and the motor laws in your state.
Maurer Law provides legal representation to hit and run victims in Spokane, Washington. Contact us today to speak with an attorney.