No matter how careful one might be, accidents still happen. Every time you drive you run the risk of being involved in an accident, mostly because of a negligent driver. After a hit and run accident, you need to know the steps to take to protect your rights. Whether you’re the one who caused the accident or it was someone’s negligence, the first thing to do is to stay on the scene of the accident. Neglecting to do this may mean life in jail or loss of your license. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you can make the most out of your claim by following the below vital information. The steps will help you to avoid the physical, emotional or financial hassle associated with these types of accidents.
Steps To Follow After A Hit and Run Accident
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, make sure to follow these steps. The worst thing you can do is to chase after the runaway driver. This could put you in additional risk of creating conditions that could lead to another crash.
- Stay at the scene of the accident: No state allows people who are involved in a car accident to leave the scene. This is only allowed if the case needs immediate medical attention. You should not leave the scene even if injuries or damages suffered are minor.
- Gather all the evidence of the car that fled: This sometimes may be impossible as you only have a few seconds to grasp what’s happening. However, you may not lack some useful information to remember. You may have checked the color and model of the car. Write down everything you saw, including:
- Any damage to the car
- The number plate of the vehicle: This could be the most important thing to remember. The police can identify the owner through the registration number
- Time and location of the accident
- Pictures of your damaged car
- Approximate age and gender of the driver
- The direction where the runaway car headed
- Get information from witnesses: You may find people who witnessed the accident around the scene. They can give out the details you may be missing. Therefore, you should take their contact information as well. In any car accident, witnesses are very important. In a hit and run accident, they can even be more useful.
- Contact the police: You should call the police and give details of what happened. The law enforcement officers will file a report and start the search. The report derived can then be used to pursue your personal injury claim.
- Seek medical help: In most cases, most victims appear to have no injuries due to the release of endorphins. This blocks pain and adjusts the mood. Thus, it’s advisable to seek medical help immediately even if you feel okay after the accident.
- Report the accident to the insurance company: You lawyer will help you with this. He/she will guide on the information you need to give to an insurance representative to maximize your recovery. Filing a claim early ensures that you fall within the statute of limitations. Failure to do so may lead to claim denial.
Sometimes taking the above steps may not be possible if you’re hurt. You can’t forego quick medical attention. That’s why you need to get a police report from the accident and also consult car accident personal injury lawyer in Wasilla as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer knows how to streamline post-accident investigations.
Protecting Your Recovery After The Hit and Run Accident
Whether you found the driver or not, you need to reach out to an experienced attorney to know the best recourse. Any personal injury claim can leave you with substantial medical bills. You need a personal injury claim against the insurance company of the faulty driver. That is if he/she is found. You can also file a lawsuit against the alleged driver. You can get recovery from:
- The faulty driver if he/she is to be found
- The negligent driver’s insurance company if he/she is to be found and has a valid insurance
If the driver is nowhere to be found, you can still file a personal injury claim for uninsured motorist coverage or against your own collision insurance. Though the uninsured motorist coverage can hold you financially responsible for any cost you may incur, it will only apply where the runaway driver is found but has no valid insurance. However, this does mean that your insurance company will be by your side; they make become an adverse party to make sure you get as little compensation as possible. They are in business too and want to make money. Accordingly, it is essential to have your lawyer by your side to get your rights protected.