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Hit and Run Accidents: What to Do in the Aftermath

by Sep 21, 2023Car Accidents, Mike Miller, Personal Injury

Encountering a hit and run car accident can be a bewildering and distressing situation, leaving you uncertain about the next steps. Whether you are the victim or a witness to such an incident, understanding how to respond is crucial. Hit and run accidents present unique challenges, but there are measures you can take to safeguard your well-being and potentially hold the responsible party accountable.

Safety First

First and foremost, ensuring safety should be your primary concern when dealing with a hit and run accident. If you find yourself directly involved in such an incident, it’s crucial to take immediate steps to protect your well-being and that of your passengers. In the aftermath of the accident, move your vehicle, if possible, to a safe location away from oncoming traffic. This simple action can significantly reduce the risk of further collisions and ensure your safety from other vehicles that may not be aware of the accident.

Once you’ve moved to a secure spot, take a moment to assess any potential injuries that you or your passengers may have sustained. If anyone requires medical attention, call emergency services promptly to ensure that professional medical assistance is provided without delay. Even if injuries appear minor at first, it’s essential to remember that some injuries might not manifest immediate symptoms. Seeking medical attention ensures that any underlying injuries are identified and treated promptly, safeguarding your health in the long run. Being cautious and prioritizing safety not only protects you and others involved but also creates a secure environment for responders and authorities to effectively handle the situation. 

Involve Law Enforcement

Contact law enforcement immediately to report the hit and run accident. Provide the information you’ve collected to aid in their investigation. This police report is crucial for both insurance claims and potential legal action. Document the scene by taking photographs of the accident site, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. These images can play a pivotal role in insurance claims and investigations. If you possess information about the hit and run vehicle, share it with law enforcement. Your input could prove pivotal in helping authorities locate the responsible party. 

Start Gathering Evidence

Gathering information after a hit and run accident is of utmost importance as it can significantly contribute to the investigation and potentially aid in identifying the responsible party. As you assess the situation, make a concerted effort to capture essential details about the fleeing vehicle. Begin by noting down the license plate number, which is a critical identifier. Additionally, take note of the make, model, and color of the vehicle. These details can help authorities track down the vehicle more effectively.

While you’re documenting the vehicle’s information, also consider the context in which the incident occurred. Record the exact time and location of the accident. This information can prove invaluable for authorities piecing together the sequence of events. Weather conditions can also play a role, so note down any pertinent weather-related details. For instance, was it raining heavily, or was visibility reduced due to fog?

In your efforts to gather information, be observant of any distinct features of the vehicle that could aid in its identification. Unique bumper stickers, dents, scratches, or any other physical characteristics can set the vehicle apart and make it easier to identify.

Furthermore, if there were witnesses present at the scene, gather their contact details and statements. Witness accounts can provide crucial insights into the events leading up to the hit and run, the actions of the driver, and the immediate aftermath. These accounts can offer a well-rounded perspective that complements the physical evidence, aiding authorities in their investigation.

Once you’ve compiled this information, share it promptly with law enforcement officers who respond to the scene. You may also need to share this information with insurance and an attorney in the future.

Inform Insurance

Promptly notifying your insurance company about a hit and run accident is a crucial step in ensuring that you receive the support and coverage you need during this challenging time. As soon as you are in a safe and stable situation, reach out to your insurance provider to report the incident. Supply them with all the gathered details you’ve compiled, including information about the fleeing vehicle, the accident location, and any witness statements you were able to collect.

Uninsured motorist coverage, often referred to as UM coverage, can be an essential aspect of your insurance policy when dealing with hit and run accidents. This coverage is designed to protect you in situations where the at-fault driver is unidentified, uninsured, or underinsured. In the context of a hit and run, if the responsible driver cannot be located or does not have insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage can step in to cover your medical expenses, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident.

However, it’s important to note that the specific terms and conditions of your insurance policy will determine the extent of your coverage. Some policies may have limitations on UM coverage, while others may offer more comprehensive protection. When you inform your insurance company about the hit and run, they can guide you through the process of making a claim, explain how your UM coverage applies, and help you understand the potential benefits and limitations. It is often advisable to contact an attorney right away, so that they can guide you through this process.

In addition to providing the necessary information, it’s advisable to document all communication with your insurance company, including the names of representatives you speak to and the details of your discussions. This documentation can serve as a helpful reference throughout the claims process and ensure that you receive the support you are entitled to.

Contact An Attorney

Considering consulting a personal injury attorney is advisable if you’ve experienced a hit and run or any car accident. They can provide insights into your legal options, guide you through the claims process, and assist in seeking compensation for damages. Maintain all records linked to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates, and insurance correspondence. This documentation is invaluable if you opt to pursue legal action.

Remember, the aftermath of a hit and run accident can be emotionally taxing and legally intricate. Seeking counsel from an experienced attorney can aid you in navigating the situation effectively, preserving your rights, and potentially holding the accountable party liable for their actions. By following these steps, you enhance your chances of receiving the necessary support and compensation in the aftermath of a hit and run accident.

At Sieben Edmunds Miller, we understand the complexities and challenges that hit and run victims face. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to assisting you through every step of the process, from collecting essential evidence to dealing with insurance companies. We can help you navigate the intricacies of your insurance policy, including uninsured motorist coverage, and ensure that your rights are protected. Our goal is to alleviate the burden and uncertainty you may experience after a hit and run incident, allowing you to focus on your recovery while we work diligently to secure the compensation you deserve.

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