A hit and run is defined as an event whereby a driver causes property damage, injury, or death, and intentionally leaves the scene, or refuses to stop after an accident. Most states’ laws consider hit and run a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Misdemeanor (less serious and lighter penalties), e.g., if hit and run accident only caused property damage.
- Felony (more serious and higher penalties), e.g., if the hit and run accident causes an injury.
Whether a misdemeanor or felony, hit and run accidents result in criminal charges, fines, jail sentences, job loss, etc. Naturally, a hit-and-run accident can be quite upsetting. Not only because of the auto accident itself, but the idea that the offender appeared to have gotten away with it—leaving you to face the price, can further compound your emotions.
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, where the other driver was caught or not, speak with an experienced car accident attorney to better understand your situation and seek an outcome that benefits you.
The following steps should be taken after being involved in or witnessing a hit and run accident.
Call 911 For Medical Help (If Needed)
Some hit and run accidents can be minor fender-benders and result in no injuries that demand medical attention. However, other hit and run accidents might leave you or your passenger with severe injuries and catastrophic property damage. If you were involved in a hit and run that resulted in injuries, get immediate medical help. Contact the police as soon as possible. If you or a passenger is unable to call the police, ask a bystander to call for you. Make sure to give the police a description of your vehicle.
Gather And Record Important Information
If the vehicle that hit you leaves the scene quickly, you must make every attempt to record relevant information to report the incident to the police.
- You can either snap photos or make mental notes about the events of the accident.
- More importantly, write down the plate number, color, and model of the offending vehicle.
These specifics will help authorities locate the driver that fled the scene. If the accident involves your unattended parked automobile, you may be able to identify the fleeing vehicle by reviewing accessible CCTV or dashcam footage. Document the damages to your vehicle as well, as they will be needed pieces of proof while reporting and claiming.
Collect Witnesses’ Contact Information
Usually, there are people on the road observing the scene. You can also inquire about the incident from onlookers or business owners who may have witnessed it. They might remember facts about the vehicle or the driver you didn’t notice. These eyewitness accounts may be used by your auto accident attorney to help in your case.
Inform Your Insurance Company
You should tell your car insurance carrier as soon as possible, in addition to reporting the event to the police. Within 24 hours, notify them of the hit-and-run. This step will come in handy if you decide to submit a not-at-fault insurance claim for hit and run damage.
The insurance company will handle the claim after you have reported it. Before you can start with vehicle repairs, some insurance companies will ask you to wait for authorization. While you are at it, call your certified vehicle insurance broker for help and to get answers to your questions about hit and run insurance coverage.
DO NOT Chase The Driver
It’s important to remember not to chase the at-fault driver. You will put yourself at risk due to this initiative. In addition to being risky, you may lose critical eyewitness testimony if you leave the scene at that time. Remain at the scene of the accident and try to obtain as much information as possible from surrounding businesses and passersby.
Were You Involved In A Hit-And-Run Case? Get In Touch With Us Right Now.
If you have been hurt in a hit-and-run accident, don’t let the person who caused the accident get away with it. Contact us for a personal injury attorney or a car accident attorney to work with a team that has gotten results for over 30,000 clients.
To schedule a consultation, call Steinger, Greene & Feiner at (800) 560-5059 now.