I Was Involved in a Hit and Run Accident

Being involved in a hit and run accident can be confusing because the person who is at fault may not have been identified. However, the accident victim still has to handle other aspects of his or her case, such as seeking medical attention and initiating the claims process.

Hit and Run Accidents

A hit-and-run accident is defined as one in which a person intentionally leaves the scene of an accident without providing his or her contact information or stopping to help someone who was injured in the accident. This can occur even if the driver of the vehicle was not at fault for the accident. However, more likely scenarios include a driver hitting another vehicle or a pedestrian and then leaving the scene of the accident or a driver hitting a parked vehicle.

Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident

Although being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be frustrating because the person responsible for the accident is nowhere to be found, there are steps that accident victims can take to maximize their ability to recover for their losses. The first thing to do is to contact police to report the accident. In many jurisdictions, it is a legal responsibility to notify the police if involved in an accident that involves injury or property damage over a certain amount. Additionally, having a police report on file can later help in the claims process.

The accident victim should not refuse medical attention. Many injuries are not self-evident, and showing a clear link between the accident and any injuries may be necessary in order to recover for medical expenses and pain and suffering as part of an accident injury claim.

If the victim is able, he or she should try to gather as much information as possible about the accident. He or she should write down a description of the vehicle if known, as well as the license plate or the portion of it that the victim remembers. Any observed damage or identifying characteristics on the vehicle such as specialty license plates, bumper stickers or custom trim should also be noted.

If the victim saw the driver, he or she should try to write down a description of him or her while the memory is fresh. If anyone else may have seen the accident, the victim should get the contact information for these witnesses. Likewise, the victim should look for any nearby cameras that may have photographed or recorded the accident.

If the victim is able, he or she should also take pictures of the accident scene, including pictures of vehicle damage, the location where the vehicle was struck and the surrounding area. Photos should be shot in a variety of different angles.
For easy reference during the claims process, the victim should also record the time and location of the accident.

Insurance Claims Process

Generally, hit and run accident claims will be processed under the victim’s automotive insurance policy under their uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Most states require this coverage. Some states waive deductibles for hit and run accidents. In other states, personal injury protection coverage, medical payments coverage or collision coverage may help pay for medical expenses and vehicle repairs. However, if the hit and run driver is identified, the claim can proceed under that individual’s car insurance coverage.

Legal Complications

Hit-and-run accidents are difficult on the victim who has to handle the claims process while attempting to recover from injuries that he or she suffered. Some accident victims may seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney. This individual may be able to help identify the driver. Alternatively, he or she may help with the uninsured or underinsured motorist policy.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.

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