Hit & Run: What to Do If You Are a Victim of This Crime
Hit and run is a serious offense that occurs when a driver fails to stop and provide assistance after being involved in a collision with another vehicle, person, or property. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 2,049 fatal hit-and-run crashes in 2019, resulting in 2,187 deaths. In addition, thousands of people are injured every year by hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene of the accident.
If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, you may feel angry, scared, and helpless. However, there are some steps you can take to protect your rights and increase your chances of getting compensation for your damages. Here are some tips on what to do if you are a victim of a hit-and-run:
Stay calm and call 911. The first thing you should do after a hit-and-run is to check yourself and anyone else involved for injuries and call 911. Even if you think you are not hurt, you may have internal injuries that are not immediately apparent. Calling 911 will also alert the police and paramedics to the scene, who can help you document the incident and provide medical attention.
Gather as much information as possible. While you are waiting for the authorities to arrive, try to collect as much information as possible about the hit-and-run driver and the vehicle. This may include the license plate number, the make, model, and color of the car, the direction of travel, and any distinguishing features or damage. You should also look for any witnesses who may have seen the accident and ask for their names and contact information. If possible, take photos or videos of the scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage.
Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine after a hit-and-run, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries may not show up until hours or days later, such as whiplash, concussion, or internal bleeding. Getting medical attention will also help you document your injuries and link them to the accident.
Report the incident to your insurance company. You should notify your insurance company of the hit-and-run as soon as possible. Depending on your policy, you may have coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM), which can help you pay for your medical bills and property damage if the hit-and-run driver is not found or does not have enough insurance. However, you should be careful not to give any statements or sign any documents that may jeopardize your claim. You should also avoid accepting any settlement offers without consulting a lawyer first.
Contact a lawyer. A hit-and-run accident can be a complex and stressful situation that requires legal expertise. A lawyer can help you investigate the incident, gather evidence, negotiate with your insurance company, and pursue a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver if they are identified. A lawyer can also help you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
A hit-and-run is a traumatic experience that can leave you with physical, emotional, and financial hardships. However, you do not have to face this alone. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, contact us today for a free consultation. We will fight for your rights and help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.