Automobile accidents are an unfortunate part of life. You may not be able to avoid them, but you can prepare for them, reducing the physical, emotional, and financial stress you would face if your vehicle is damaged or you suffer from injuries. A hit-and-run type of accident can be even more challenging since you will be facing damages, injuries, emotional distress, and enormous expenses related to the accident without any definite answers or ways to file claims. Classified as an accident where one party flees the scene without reporting the accident or providing aid/information, a hit and run can be devastating and often fatal. This guide will help you guide through the process of navigating a hit-and-run accident.
It is normal to feel anxious and frightened after an accident, but you should remain calm and keep your composure. If you or another passenger are experiencing any pain or injury, have someone contact emergency medical personnel immediately.
Once you see the other party leaving the scene of the accident, you may feel enormous anger and rage. Again, it is important to remain calm and keep your composure especially if you are experiencing an injury.
If you are physically and emotionally capable of doing so, contact the police at the time of the accident. Even though the other party is not present, you must still report the accident to local law enforcement.
If possible, provide the police with any information that you remember about the accident and the other driver and the vehicle. The police will also spend some time interviewing witnesses who may have information that will help them locate the other driver. This will be especially important if the other driver caused the accident.
It may be surprising to learn that leaving the scene of an accident is a crime whether you caused the accident or not. Therefore, the police department will want to find the other driver to charge them with the hit and run. Depending on the damages to the vehicle or other property and if you or others have suffered injuries, the driver who left the scene may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
File a Claim
Most people who are involved in a hit-and-run accident are confused by if or how they file an insurance claim. The answer to how you file a claim will depend on whether the police locate the other driver involved.
If the police do locate the driver, you will be able to file a claim with their insurance company. Even though they will be dealing with legal charges because they left the scene, a claim against their insurance company will ensure you receive compensation for your vehicle damage and any medical expenses related to the injuries.
Unfortunately, the other driver is not always found. In this situation, you will need to file a claim with your auto insurance company. You will need to provide copies of the police report to your insurance company before receiving any compensation for the vehicle damage and your injuries.
Consult an Attorney
Filing claims after a hit-and-run accident can be challenging, so consider consulting an attorney like David Helfand PA to walk you through the process.
Hiring an attorney will ensure you receive the compensation you need to make repairs and pay medical expenses. In addition, if the driver was located but did not have automobile insurance at the time of the accident, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the driver.
Experiencing an auto accident is frightening enough, but experiencing a hit-and-run accident can also be incredibly stressful and emotional. This guide will help you deal with a hit-and-run accident.