03.05.24

What Do I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is one hit and run accident every 60 seconds, accounting for more than 5 percent of traffic fatalities.

Unfortunately, the percentage of hit and run accidents that get solved is only around 10 percent. As personal injury attorneys, we have helped many victims of hit and run incidents. We understand the complexities surrounding hit and run cases and the importance of pursuing justice and compensation for those affected.

Being involved in a hit and run accident is a traumatic experience. The sudden impact, followed by the perpetrator fleeing the scene, can leave victims with physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. However, it's crucial to remember that you have legal rights and options to explore.

What are the legal options for hit and run victims?

Filing a Police Report: The first and immediate step after a hit and run incident is to contact law enforcement. Filing a detailed police report is crucial for documenting the incident and initiating an investigation. Provide as much information as possible, such as the description of the vehicle, license plate number (if visible), and any witness statements. In fact, should you wish to file an uninsured motorist claim, your auto insurance policy almost certainly requires that you file a police report as soon as possible after being the victim of a hit-and-run.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: If you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, this can be a valuable resource. This coverage is designed to protect you in situations where the at-fault party is unidentified or lacks insurance. Ordinarily, when you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, UM coverage is your most likely source of recovery. It’s crucial for you to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible such that an attorney can review your policy, ensure compliance with the policy, and help get you fair compensation for your injuries.

An uninsured motorist claim allows you to secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident, even if the at-fault driver cannot be identified. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the process.

What should I do after a hit and run accident?

Call the police. As stated earlier, your most likely source of recovery after a hit-and-run accident is your own uninsured motorist coverage, which almost certainly requires that you file a police report as soon as possible after an accident. Failure to do this can leave you without any source of recovery.

Gather Evidence. If possible, collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle, any skid marks, and the surrounding area. Additionally, note any surveillance cameras nearby that may have captured the incident.

Seek Witnesses: Talk to any witnesses who may have seen the accident. Collect their contact information, as their statements can be crucial in identifying the responsible party. Witnesses may provide details about the vehicle, its direction, or any other information that aids law enforcement.

Being the victim of a hit and run accident is an overwhelming experience, but you are not alone.

Pursuing justice and compensation is not only your right but a critical step in the healing process. By taking immediate action, filing police reports, exploring insurance options, and seeking legal representation, you can increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Remember, in the face of adversity, the law is a powerful tool to restore justice and provide solace for hit and run victims.

 

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