Hit and run accidents result in well over 1,000 casualties a year in the United States. A hit and run can be one of the most traumatic and damaging incidents that you might experience, but you don’t have to settle for being helpless. By knowing the right steps to take following the incident, you can greatly improve your chances for recovering compensation for your suffering and property damage. With a car accident attorney by your side to protect your rights, your chances improve exponentially. Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re the victim of a hit and run accident:
- Damage caused to your unattended vehicle by an unknown driver counts as a hit and run. A hit and run can be categorized by either:
- Another driver hitting you and continuing on without stopping or
- The failure to share information with you after hitting your car while you were absent.
Many drivers are unable to receive justice for their hit and run victimization due to being unable to get a fleeing driver to come back after striking them on the road. In most cases, the victim must use their own insurance coverage to repair or replace their property.
2. Note the at-fault vehicle’s model, make, and license plate number.
Even though a hit-and-run accident can be a very stressful situation, you still need to make sure that you record as much relevant information as possible. This can help build a strong case or even help track down the negligent driver and hold them accountable.
3. Eye witness accounts from the scene of the crime can be incredibly valuable.
Not only should you make sure to record information regarding the other driver’s vehicle, you’ll also want to make sure to communicate with any witnesses on the scene as well.
- Get the names and contact information of everybody who was at the scene so that you have as much support as possible in building up the credibility of your case.
- If you’re lucky, you may even find that witnesses are able to fill in information that slipped your mind. At the very least, get their name and phone number.
- Ideally, video record their recollection of what happened by using the videotaping feature on your cell phone.
- In the absence of a cell phone, ask them to write down what happened while you are there with them. Also ask them to sign and date their written account. You will need to present this to your car accident attorney if you decide to pursue legal action or an insurance claim.
4. It’s essential to take pictures and/or video of the damage and the crash scene.
In addition to taking down all of the written information that you can, make a point to get photographic evidence as well. Take pictures from as many different angles of your damaged vehicle as possible, leaving no shadow of doubt as to what the extent of the crash was. Also get photos and/or video of the road and anything else of relevance to the accident.
In a case where witness support is slim, having a photograph that shows the paint of the other driver’s car on your vehicle can be very helpful.
5. The exact crash time and location are vital elements of your case.
Don’t fail to note the accurate time and location of the crash. If you’re not next to any specific specific address when the hit-and-run happens, reporting the nearest intersection and any nearby establishments can be vital. Also note weather and road surface conditions.
Your first priority should be to contact the police and/or ambulance immediately. By filing an accident report (with the support of information from any witnesses on the scene) you can expedite the process of receiving auto claim benefits. If you have concerns about collecting compensation for an accident you didn’t cause, contact a car accident lawyer Minneapolis MN relies on as soon as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into hit and run accident cases.