A hit-and-run car accident can leave you reeling. Not only are you injured and your vehicle damaged, but the person responsible has fled the scene. What should you do?
At the Fell Law Firm, we often talk with people who were injured by drivers who left the scene. Here are some things we tell them. Of course, every situation is different, so you’ll want to talk with a lawyer about your exact circumstances.
At the Scene of the Hit-And-Run Accident
If another driver hits your vehicle and then leaves the scene, it’s normal to feel jittery and overwhelmed. The first thing you should do is consider your personal safety. If you can do so without putting yourself at risk of further injury, pull over to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic.
Once you’re parked, call the police immediately. Tell them what happened. The police should come to the scene and complete a police report. Help them by sharing as much information as possible—including any details about the make and model of the other car that you remember.
Many people tend to minimize the amount of pain they feel after a car accident. Sometimes, they are feeling too much of an adrenaline rush to notice. Other times, they want to be strong or they don’t want to be a bother. Make sure that you tell the police if you are in pain and accept any medical attention. Even if you don’t leave the scene in an ambulance, you’ll want to get a medical exam as soon as possible.
While at the scene, get the names and contact information of any witnesses, take pictures and notice your surroundings. You may need this information later when you talk with your insurance company.
Insurance Considerations: Compensation May Still Be an Option
Even though the other driver has left the scene and likely won’t be paying for damages, your own insurance company may cover the costs of vehicle repairs, hospital bills, missed work and other expenses. All insurance companies are required to offer something called uninsured motorist coverage/ underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) to all drivers. The insurance covers you in hit-and-run car accidents or accidents in which the other driver isn’t well insured. If you decided not to carry this coverage, you would have had to reject it in writing.
If you do have UM/UIM insurance, you’ll want to follow your insurance company’s steps for filing a claim. It’s likely that you’ll have to pay a deductible. But, once you do, insurance will cover other expenses. And if you run into trouble with the insurance company? Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney can help you take effective action to get the compensation you need and deserve.
What if You Weren’t There at the Time?
Often, hit and run accidents happen when nobody is around. For example, when a driver negligently hits your parked car and then takes off before anyone notices. In situations like this, UM/UIM insurance should still cover the damage. You’ll still need to file a police report to file a successful claim. Make sure you do this as soon as possible.
If you need help taking action after a hit-and-run, reach out and talk with a personal injury lawyer at The Fell Law Firm. Just call us at 972-450-1418972-450-1418 for a free consultation.