What Hit and Run Victims Tend to Forget After an Incident

Hit-and-run accidents are some of the worst accidents that you can experience. They can result in all the physical and mental injuries that come with any kind of accident, but the ‘run’ factor in this type of accident makes it much worse. After the accident takes place, the victim is left to their own resources in the middle of despair. 

It can be in the middle of nowhere with severe injuries to attend to, or it can result in severe property damage in addition to the bodily injury. In confusing states, victims tend to forget taking crucial steps directly following the accident, which can decrease their chances of pursuing their rights. 

Anyone involved in an accident knows they should check for injuries and call 911 if the injuries are severe. But if they knew better, they’d do more to take extra measures right away. 

If you’re ever caught up in a hit-and-run accident, here’s what you should do on the spot:

Don’t move

Unless you’re causing a severe traffic jam, make sure to stay where you are. Don’t run after the fleeing driver. Don’t move your vehicle so you can preserve the scene of the accident. Make sure to turn on your flashers and light up flares if you were driving a car that was crashed into, otherwise try and use anything available and use anything at your disposal to warn the passersby about the scene of the accident. 

Gather evidence

While waiting for help to arrive, make sure to gather all the evidence you can and document it on the spot. The evidence you collect can be as follows:

  • Pictures

Take pictures of the crime scene. Make sure they’re clear and descriptive. Take pictures from different angles, and even shoot videos if need be. Make sure to take pictures of any injuries as well. 

  • Driver Description

Write down the driver’s description to the best of your memory. If you’ve caught any details about them, write them down. You should include, to the best of your ability, their facial and bodily features; height, skin tone, hairstyle, age, tattoos, and any special features they might have had.

  • Car Details

Make sure to get the details of the car as accurately as possible as well. What was the car’s color, brand, model, and type? How many doors did it have? Were you able to spot the car license plates, even if only a few digits? Did you glimpse the license plate state, logo, or vanity tag? Were there any distinctive features about the car?

  • Talk to Witnesses

Gathering evidence from standing witnesses, or even better, getting one of the witnesses to testify for you can be crucial for the success of your claim. Not only will these witnesses help you with additional evidence you might have missed or failed to notice due to the confusion of the accident, but they’ll also provide an unbiased testimony regarding what happened. This will weigh a lot in your claim in the eyes of insurance companies. 

Call the police

You should make sure to call the police right away, or at least in under 24 hours. If you fail to report it you might end up being at-fault and your insurance premium will suffer the consequences. 

The police will come to the scene of the accident, which is considered a crime by law, and file a report. They’ll advise you on the next steps you should take, perhaps ask you to report to the nearest collision reporting center. There are instances when the police will find the accident too minor to report, but you should still try to collect official evidence. Make sure to write down the details of the police officer; recording their name, badge number, and contact number. This will be invaluable to provide your insurer with once they pursue the claim.

Contact a hit and run specialized lawyer

Dealing with hit-and-runs will prove to be complicated and with a lot of uncertainty. It can even grow worse if the driver responsible for the accident cannot be found. As it requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise, finding the right lawyer for a hit and run accident will help you get the compensation you need. Not only will the lawyer advise you on the proper steps to take right away, but they’ll also help you in litigating your claim through insurance companies. Many insurance companies have very strict regulations when it comes to hit-and-run accidents, commonly known as “phantom accidents.” With the help of an experienced lawyer, you’ll be able to collect sufficient evidence, have your claims litigated, and calculate the fair compensation you deserve. 

Notify your insurance company

Your insurance company will want to know as soon as possible about the accident. They’ll ask you about all the details, so be prepared to provide them. Sometimes your insurance will cover these accidents in your PIP and Collision coverage, so it’s good to know your options. In other cases, however, the insurance might fail to cover the costs of the accident partially or fully, in which case you’ll need a specialized lawyer to guide you through your next course of action. 

Get a medical checkup

Even if you don’t feel too injured following the accident, you should never turn down medical attention. Some injuries will only show after a period of time, and you don’t want to miss out on gathering these injuries and including them in your evidence. Make sure to keep all bills of medical checkups, sessions, and prescriptions and gather all medical records related to your accident. You’re going to need them. 

Hit-and-run accidents are draining, both physically and mentally. But they can be much worse if they become financially draining on you. Following such accidents, certain steps need to be taken into account to ensure their safety and compensation. For example, victims need to maintain their position while gathering all the evidence they can. Contacting the police should be a priority, followed by contacting a special hit-and-run lawyer. They should also update their insurance company about the accident while providing a detailed account of what happened. They should not forget to get a medical checkup as well, even if they don’t feel severely injured.