Every car accident is a stressful experience, but hit-and-run accidents are especially traumatic. Drivers are legally required to stay at the scene should their vehicle be involved in an accident, whether it is their fault or not. Unfortunately, there are those who intentionally leave the scene, leaving behind any property damage or injuries they have caused. When this happens, the injured driver may not know how to proceed.
There are certain steps you could follow should you experience a hit-and-run accident. Doing so may alleviate stress and help protect your legal claim.
Identify the Other Vehicle
If you see the other vehicle that hit your car, you should never pursue that person and handle matters on your own. This could make the situation even more dangerous. Instead, write down or record the details of the other vehicle as soon as possible. Adrenaline is most likely running high in this moment, so forgetting details is quite common.
You should immediately record, if possible:
- The vehicle’s make, model, and color, and other details, like a bumper sticker or parking pass.
- The vehicle’s license plate number.
- Location of the damage on their vehicle.
- The direction in which the perpetrator was heading.
- The driver’s description if possible.
Take Pictures and Videos of the Scene
You want to document the scene, particularly where the accident happened and what damage your vehicle sustained. A video recording is helpful as well, as authorities viewing the video can see the location and weather conditions. Be sure to take photographs or videos of anything notable at the scene, like skid marks the other vehicle may have left behind or any debris.
Contact the Police
Even if there were no injuries or the damage was minor, you still want to contact the police and file an official police report. Speaking to the police and giving them all the information you just recorded is important. Doing so will alert other officers in the area so that they are aware of the hit-and-run driver.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance company, especially if you have comprehensive collision coverage. This type of insurance coverage helps pay for your damages particularly when it is not your fault, although there is likely a deductible. Additionally, some auto policies offer uninsured motorist coverage. If you have this coverage, you may be able to file a claim for the hit-and-run accident.
Talk to Witnesses
There are many hit-and-run accidents that occur when one driver is unable to see who hit them. Hopefully, there might be witnesses in the area who can assist. It is best to record their accounts as well, either through audio or video.
Additionally, local businesses may have security cameras that might have caught the accident on video. Talk to any businesses in the area.
Seek Medical Attention
Getting medical attention after any type of accident is very important. Not only is getting treatment critical for your health, but it will also record your visit for insurance and other legal purposes. An insurance company will likely not pay for an injury claim if the injured party waited several days before getting treated.
Call a Lawyer
Seeking legal help is necessary, especially if the other party has been found. You will want to gather all the information you have previously obtained and go over it with your lawyer. They will help guide you and build your case. They can also help gather evidence, contact experts on your behalf, and take other actions to help your case.
Delco Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Can Protect Your Rights After a Hit-and-Run Collision
A hit-and-run accident can be very difficult to handle, especially if you do not have any legal help. If you were injured in a hit-and-run collision, contact our Delco car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. right away. Call us at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.