Hit-and-run accidents are frustrating, to say the least. They can happen to pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers, and parked cars. When you are struck by another vehicle, and notice that they are driving off rather than pulling over and doing the right thing, it’s infuriating. The same is true when you walk out to your parked car to find that it has been struck and damaged, with so sign of the person who did it.
It’s incredibly important to your safety, well-being, and the outcome of your case to follow certain steps after you have been in a hit-and-run accident. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can still recover the damages you are owed. In order to avoid further injuries and damage after the accident and to have a successful claim, follow these steps.
What you should do after a hit-and-run:
- 1. Get to safety – Your first priority is to protect yourself, passengers, and other motorists on the road from further harm. In this way, a hit-and-run accident is no different from any other type of vehicular collision. Pull over out of the way of traffic, if possible.
- 2. Call the police – If anyone is injured, call 911 as soon as possible. If there do not seem to be any injuries, you should still call the police to ensure that an accident report is filed right away. This will help you and your case later on.
- 3. Record and gather information – When a driver strikes you and flees the scene, unfortunately, it can be very challenging to gather the evidence you can generally obtain in a typical car accident. Still, it’s helpful to write down any information you are able to. If possible, record the:
- License plate number
- Make and model of the car
- Color of the car
- Year of the car (approximately)
- Time and location of the accident
- Direction the driver was traveling
- Description of the scene and your vehicle.
- 4. Take photos – Take pictures to show the conditions during the accident and the damage your vehicle has sustained. Having quality pictures are important to your case. Take pictures of all areas where your vehicle has been damaged, the road, skid marks, debris, and anything else that might be relevant to the collision.
- 5. Talk to witnesses – Look for any potential witnesses who can supply any information about the driver and the events of the accident. Write down the contact information of all available witnesses and note the information they supply. In a hit-and-run accident that happens when you aren’t in your car, or you aren’t able to witness it yourself, witness accounts are significant and often your best chance in winning your case.
- 6. Talk to a lawyer – After any car accident that results in serious injuries, death, or significant property damage, you should always have a lawyer to assist in your case. A hit-and-run lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases is instrumental to your case. They will be able to calculate the value of your case, stand up to the insurance companies, and, in the case of a hit-and-run accident, help you get compensation for your injuries and suffering.
- 7. Talk to your insurance company – Inform your agent about the accident. The type of coverage you can receive in the case of your hit-and-run accident depends on the level of insurance coverage you have. By talking to your agent, you can find out what is covered by your own insurance so that you can get the medical treatment and vehicle repairs or replacement right away.
- 8. Receive medical care – If you were seriously injured, you need to see a doctor or specialist to help in your recovery, ensure your injuries don’t get worse, and to alleviate your pain and discomfort. However, even if you do not detect any apparent injuries at the time of the accident, you should still be examined. By receiving a medical evaluation, you may find out about injuries you didn’t notice or think were serious enough to warrant treatment. In addition, if you have what you believe to be a minor injury or an injury you think can’t be treated, like a concussion or cracked ribs, having medical evidence and treatment records will significantly strengthen your case.
What you should not do after a hit-and-run:
One of the most important things to understand in a hit-and-run accident is what NOT to do. Do not attempt to follow or chase the driver that hit you. If you are present at the time of the accident, it can be very tempting to try to tail the culprit to get their information and hold them accountable for their actions. Do not try to follow them, because:
- it is dangerous. Not only can it make you likely to make riskier driving decisions, but you could risk putting yourself in harm again if you do track them down. You can’t control or predict what the hit-and-run driver will do. They already made a poor and risky decision by leaving the scene in the first place.
- it puts you in a compromising position. Chasing after them means you would be leaving the scene of an accident. You can get in trouble for this alone. And if you leave and police arrive, they may question what happened and be suspicious of why you left.
- you miss the opportunity to talk to witnesses, take pictures of the scene, and get other important information.
- esspecially if you aren’t present when the collision takes place, your chances of finding them are not high. Trying to find them is not worth the time or effort.
St Louis Hit-and-Run Lawyer
No one ever deserves to be harmed by the actions of another driver. A hit-and-run accident certainly feels even more unfair, because it feels like the person may get away with it. However, by following the right steps after a hit-and-run, you can still recover the damages you are owed. In some cases, the driver can be found. But even if they are not able to determine who struck you or your vehicle and caused you harm, you do have options. To understand your options, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and other potential solutions, you need a lawyer who if familiar with your type of case. Amanda Hayden of the Hayden Law Firm will listen to you, understand your needs, and help you move beyond your accident. Contact us online or call (314) 480-3100 today to discuss your hit-and-run case.