Car accidents are harrowing even when everyone cooperates, and you have another insurance company to pursue damages. But when someone hits your car and takes off, it adds another layer to your claim. Here are five things you need to do if you become a hit-and-run victim.
- Get identifying information: Some identifying information on the driver and their vehicle is better than none at all. Take pictures of the car as it drives away and make notes while your memory is fresh. For example, if you catch the make and color of the vehicle, write it down. The same is true for license plate numbers, even if you only get half of it.
- Call for help: A hit and run accident is a crime. Call the police, and file a report. The police may not catch your hit and run driver, but the report helps you collect on your uninsured motorist coverage and file an accurate accident report. If you sustained injuries, call for an ambulance to immediately document those injuries.
- Document the accident: If you can do so, document essential facts about the accident. Include location, cross streets, and any other details regarding your surroundings. Note businesses in the area as they may have security camera footage that could reveal the hit and run offender. Take pictures of the accident scene too.
- Seek medical treatment: Even “minor” soft tissue injuries are painful and debilitating. See a doctor and have these issues assessed to be documented for your personal injury claim. Also, many accident injuries do not show up for days later, as adrenaline may keep you from feeling pain at the time of the accident. Always get checked out even if you do not think you are injured.
- Never chase down the other driver: It may be tempting to chase down the hit and run offender, but that is a wrong decision. You risk committing traffic violations that will not help your settlement process. Also, you do not know if the other driver is a dangerous individual or an absent-minded one. It is not worth the risk. Use that effort to collect identifying information and take pictures rather than take off on a futile chase.
Even if you never identify the other driver, there are options for collecting damages on a hit and run case. Typically, your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will pay for medical bills, car repairs, and even pain and suffering. If you hire an attorney, you have more avenues for discovering the driver’s identity and holding them responsible.
Call an Ohio lawyer for help with your personal injury claim
Have you been hurt by a hit-and-run driver? I can assess your case and can help you determine the options you have for seeking compensation. If another person or party is responsible for your injuries, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Do not hesitate to get in touch with me at 877.483.2298 so that I can evaluate your case as soon as possible.