What to Do After a Hit and Run
Despite it being illegal, some drivers flee the scene of an accident. They choose to take this action for many reasons – avoiding insurance claims, evading arrest if they know they’re driving while drunk, or other reasons. Unfortunately, victims of a hit-and-run are left injured and unable to file a claim against an unknown negligent driver.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
If your vehicle was hit in a hit-and-run, there are specific steps to take regarding filing an insurance claim:
- Get immediate medical assistance. The health of you and your passengers is always the top priority and getting first aid is vital.
- Call 911. Calling 911 will bring the police and an ambulance, both of which are crucial. A hit-and-run is a crime, and a police report will be needed for your insurance claim. Police reports provide the required evidence of the accident and help show that you were not at fault. It is essential, however, to deal only with facts. Do not admit any fault in the accident, as you may inadvertently harm your case.
- Get medical care. An ambulance will provide any extra medical care, and at the least, will help get you and your passengers assessed by a qualified doctor.
- Take notes. Because the offending vehicle isn’t there, write down anything you remember about the vehicle: it’s make, model, license plate (even partial), a description of the driver, what direction they went – any details you noticed are vital to an investigation.
- Connect with any possible witnesses. If possible, see if anyone is around that witnessed the accident and obtain their contact information. Try to get them to stay until the police arrive, as the information they provide can help with any police investigation and as evidence in your claim.
- Take photos. Take as many photos as you can while maintaining safety. Taking photos of the damage to your vehicle, any debris, surrounding conditions, and anything else that looks relevant is significant and useful.
- Call your insurance agent. You will likely want to inform your insurance agent as soon as possible to get the claim process started. Don’t, however, admit to anything or provide anything but the simple, straight facts. Any admission of liability can be detrimental to your claim.
- Call your lawyer. Because hit-and-run accidents are not always straightforward, a quality car accident attorney is an essential piece of the puzzle in a hit and run case involving injuries.
Does My Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run?
How your insurance covers a hit-and-run depends on what level of coverage you have. If you have DCPD coverage (Direct Compensation Auto Insurance – full coverage for accidents in which you are not at fault), you can likely get compensation with a zero-deductible. Otherwise, your compensation may come from your collision coverage – which usually has a deductible. If you were not at fault in the accident, filing an insurance claim should NOT raise your insurance premium.
If, however, you were injured in an accident, you are likely eligible for additional compensation and need to retain the services of a qualified attorney. Once we take on a case, our team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. will perform a thorough analysis to determine the amount of compensation you have a right to claim. We pursue the maximum compensation for the people we represent. Your insurance company may try to minimize what they pay you after a hit and run, and, if you were injured, this is not acceptable. Call us today at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation.
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