When it comes to reporting a hit and run accident, many drivers are unsure of the correct procedure.
The reason is simple: they don’t consider a hit and run as a real threat. Well, these accidents are more common than you might think. In the U.S. alone, an average of 682,000 hit and run accidents have occurred each year since 2006.
Also, hit and run accidents are one of the most frustrating experiences for drivers. In addition to your vehicle getting damaged, there’s a decent chance the culprit will get away with it.
Of course, knowing the hit and run procedure can tilt the odds in your favor. Here is what to do in a hit and run accident.
1. Keep Your Calm
If you’re the victim in a hit and run, your first instinct may be to chase the perpetrator.
Unfortunately, this will usually do more harm than good. Even if you’re experiencing emotional frustration, try your best to remain calm. Remember, the first few seconds after accidents are crucial.
The first thing you should do is make sure nobody is injured. Then, try to record any information about the vehicle that hit you. This includes the make, model, and color of the vehicle, as well as the description of the driver.
2. Document Everything
If the hit-and-run occurs while your car is parked, try to find someone who witnessed the accident.
If there are witnesses, get their contact information. Also, take some pictures of your car and the accident scene. This will prove useful when filing a police report.
Why is this important? Well, many people claim they were the victim of a hit-and-run after hitting an object themselves. Having the proper documentation will help prove that another vehicle was responsible for the accident.
3. Wait for the Police
Once you’ve gathered the necessary information, your next step should be to contact the police. Once they arrive, give them the full story. The more details you provide, the easier they’ll find the culprit.
If you’re the driver in a hit and run, stay at the scene of the crime. Trying to run away may make you subject to both civil and criminal charges. If you can’t find the owner of the vehicle, leave your contact information.
4. Contact a Lawyer
Finally, you’ll want to be sure that your rights are protected. The best way to do so is to seek the counsel of an experienced auto accident lawyer. If you’re entitled to compensation, they’ll make sure you’ll receive it.
Of course, you can also file a hit and run insurance claim. However, keep in mind that these accidents are not covered by liability insurance. Collision insurance helps you cover the damages, but you’ll have to pay the deductible.
More on Reporting a Hit and Run
There are many reasons why a hit and run driver would flee from the scene of the crime. They can be unlicensed, uninsured, or even on the run from the law. The only thing you can do is report the accident in as much detail as you can.
After reporting a hit and run to the police, you may struggle to find a lawyer who will protect your interests. We at Michael R. Herron can help you out! Contact us right here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.