Collect information, document the scene, file a report, file a claim
No one likes to think about getting into an accident, but it does happen. Being prepared for the possibility of an accident will help you to get through the process with as little stress as possible. But if you are involved in a hit and run, you may not know exactly what your next steps should be. And trying to deal with insurance on top of your anger and injuries can quickly increase your frustration. How will you get damages and compensation for your injuries?
What is a hit and run?
If the other driver leaves the scene of an accident without giving any contact information, it is considered a hit and run. Naturally, this includes a car hitting you and then taking off while you are in the car. However, it also includes when another driver runs into your car when you are not in the vehicle and then leaves without providing any contact information.
What should you do?
The first step is to try to remain calm, even though it can be difficult and tend to any injuries immediately. Try your best to obtain as much info as possible about the vehicle that collided with yours, such as the make, model and color as well as the number on the license plate if you can.
Look for Witnesses or Video Footage
If you can find any witnesses to the accident, get their information as well. All of this information will assist law enforcement and can be of help when you are filing your claim. If your vehicle was hit while in a parking lot, you may want to talk to the lot owner and attendants to see if they have video cameras set up that can provide you and the police with more info about the hit and run driver.
Collect Information and Document Damage
You should also write down the location and time of the accident. Take pictures of the scene as well as your car. If the other car left paint on your vehicle, which often happens in these types of accidents, it can help to prove to the insurance company that you are not trying to defraud them.
Gather as much information as you can, even if it is only a small amount. Anything you’re able to provide will improve the chance of the police finding the perpetrator. In addition, it can help your insurance company.
File a Report
As soon as possible after the accident, while still at the scene, get in touch with the police and file a report. The report should include the name and other information of any witnesses that were at the scene. In some cases, the police may actually be able to track down the other driver. However, even if they aren’t able to nab the driver, having a police report filed can be important when you are filing your insurance claim.
If You Can’t Find the Other Driver
If you can’t find the person who hit you, or if the person doesn’t have insurance, it is possible to file a claim with your own insurance company. If you are able to find the person who hit you, then you will be able to file a claim with their insurance company. If the driver doesn’t have enough protection, you can still go through the courts to try to gain compensation for the accident.