What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
After a car accident, all drivers involved are required to stop at the scene, exchange information, and assist anyone who is injured. Even though this is California law, this does not always happen. Sometimes drivers keep on going, fleeing the accident for some reason.
Drivers may be scared to stop. They may not have a driver’s license or insurance. They may be running from the law or intoxicated. Whatever the reason, fleeing an accident is wrong. It is called a hit and run accident and it is a crime.
For the others involved, it is also a frustrating situation. What do you do now? How can you get compensation for your damages? Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
Make Sure Everyone is Safe
Move your vehicle out of traffic, if possible. Get to the shoulder and check on yourself and any passengers. Call 911 if anyone is injured.
Get a Police Report
Make another call to the police. Let them know that there was a hit and accident and have them come to the scene to investigate and file a report. A police report contains the officer’s notes and determination of fault. It will be helpful when you file a claim with your insurance company (more on that later).
Take notes on what you can remember about the other driver and vehicle while the information is still fresh in your mind. Jot down what happened before the crash. In what direction did the hit and run driver travel after the crash? Were there any witnesses? Get their contact information so they can provide a statement to police. Take pictures of the area and look for parts of the other driver’s car to help identify them. However, you shouldn’t touch any evidence left at the scene.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Call your insurance company and let them know what happened. You will need to file a claim. They will let you know what information is needed and what coverages you have. If you have the right coverage, your insurance company may pay for damages. If you have collision coverage, it will pay for damage to your vehicle in a hit and run crash. In California, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it will pay for bodily injury. It will pay for property damage if the driver is identified.
However, these coverages are optional, so you cannot assume you have them. You will have to pay extra for them, but they are good to have, as hit and run accidents are common in California and all over the country.
Contact Us Today
Hit and run accidents can be frustrating, especially when the liable driver is never found. If you are ever in this situation, seek legal help to understand your options.
A Carlsbad car accident attorney from Pursley Law Firm can help you understand the next steps and ensure you get compensation for your damages. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (760) 678-1884.