What to Do If You are Involved in a Hit and Run Accident?

Accident attorney

In the event of a car crash, it is imperative to adhere to the law and remain at the scene. The initial course of action after any traffic accident is to promptly contact the police and await their arrival. The responding officer(s) play a crucial role in facilitating the exchange of vital information, such as insurance details, between all parties involved.

However, what if the driver responsible for the accident decides to escape before you can obtain their information?

Regrettably, hit-and-run incidents are becoming increasingly prevalent across the nation.

Have you ever thought about how you would react if a driver were to hit you and then simply drive away without stopping? Here are six steps to take after a hit-and-run accident.

1. Call 911

If all individuals remain at the scene, and there are no injuries, it is generally acceptable to contact the local police line instead of dialing 911.

Hit-and-run accidents are an entirely separate matter. Engaging in a hit-and-run is a criminal act, and the driver who flees the scene may pose a threat. It is crucial to promptly contact emergency services by dialing 911 and provide them with immediate information.

If you or anyone at the scene is injured, prioritize obtaining critical medical attention. Call 911 immediately to report the injury, and provide them with details about the hit-and-run incident.

2. Don’t Try to Chase the Hit-and-Run Driver

Witnessing a reckless driver blatantly disregard the law and hastily flee can elicit a myriad of emotions. It's not uncommon to feel a surge of anger, indignation, panic, or even a sense of being overwhelmed.

Breathe deeply. Maintain your composure. Collaborate with law enforcement and adhere to their directives.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to pursue the hit-and-run driver, even if it means they escape. Leave the task of catching them to the police, and let your lawyer handle the process of securing any compensation you may require.

3. Take Notes ASAP

Providing law enforcement with as much information as possible about the hit-and-run driver is crucial. Take out a notepad or use your smartphone to promptly jot down every detail you can recall. This will greatly assist in the investigation.

It is astonishing how swiftly one can lose significant or vivid details shortly after an accident. Car collisions can create a sort of "fog of war" impact, particularly in hit-and-run scenarios, intensifying the overall trauma of the incident. Often, victims can only recollect the crash as a hazy blur.

Taking real-time notes can serve as a defense against memory loss and potentially enhance your ability to remember information later on.

4. Talk to Witnesses

Local residents may have noticed crucial details regarding the hit-and-run driver that eluded your attention. Passersby and occupants of other vehicles possess a unique perspective compared to yours, and if they were not directly involved in the incident, their state of mind might be clearer. By considering their observations and insights, a more comprehensive understanding of the situation can be attained.

Equally important, witnesses may provide testimony regarding the occurrence and the responsible party behind the accident. Such testimony can be crucial in case the insurance company accuses you of being at fault, especially if the hit-and-run driver is apprehended, and your injuries surpass the limitations of certain state's no-fault auto insurance regulations.

Witnesses may even possess photographs or video recordings of the accident captured on their smartphones. That is precisely why reaching out to witnesses is of utmost importance following a hit-and-run incident.

5. Call Your Insurance Company

Irrespective of the party responsible for the collision, it is likely that your car insurance policy mandates prompt notification of any accidents to your insurance provider. This stipulation typically extends to hit-and-run incidents as well.

Be concise in your communication, refraining from any statements that suggest responsibility or fault for the crash.

6. Contact a Lawyer

After a hit-and-run accident, it's important not to assume that you have no legal recourse. You do have rights, and there may be more avenues available than you realize to pursue the compensation you deserve. The specific circumstances of your accident will determine the options at your disposal. At Strong Law, our team of experienced car accident lawyers can provide the guidance you need to fully understand and explore your legal options.

Avoid the error of attempting to handle a complicated hit-and-run injury claim by yourself. Taking the vital step of scheduling a complimentary consultation with a lawyer is crucial after experiencing a hit-and-run accident.

Free & Confidential Consultation with an Auto Accident Lawyer

If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run incident, we urge you to reach out to our office promptly.

Strong Law is a personal injury law firm serving accident victims in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alaska.

We vigorously advocate for injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in hit-and-run accidents, striving to secure the maximum compensation they deserve. Our commitment extends to providing confidential and complimentary claim consultations, with no obligations, to victims of hit-and-run incidents.