Getting into a car accident is frightening and can be life changing. The problems can be exponentially worst if the accident you were involved in was a hit and run. The fact is Hit and run accidents are very common. An amazing number of drivers speed off after colliding with another vehicle.
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, what should you do?
1. Assess the need for any medical attention
Make sure that everyone is OK, and doesn’t require any medical attention. Immediately call 911 and do your best to get safe access to the side of the road. It’s very important that you stay calm and wait for the police or paramedics to arrive on the scene.
2. Document everything
You may want to speed after the vehicle that hit you, this isn’t a good idea. The best thing that you can do is pull over and try to document as much information as you can. If you were able to get a license plate number or a partial plate right that down right away before you forget. Try to remember the make, model and color of the vehicle that hit you.
3. Look for witnesses
After you’re in a safe spot start looking around to find potential witnesses. Make sure to take down the name and number of any potential witness on the scene. Ask them to stay long enough to give a police statement if they can.
4. File a police report
When the police arrive make sure to stay calm and explain in as much detail to the officer as you can remember. Keep to the facts and do not apologize or blame yourself even if you think you are at fault in anyway. Do not pressure the officer to chase after theoffending vehicle. Don’t leave the scene until you’re cleared to do so.
5. Contact your insurance
If you were able to identify the vehicle that hit you then you may be able to persuade their insurance company to pay for your damage and any potential injuries. Many drivers flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident because they are either uninsured, unlicensed, have an outstanding warrant, or know that they have some outstanding legal matter pending and don’t want to get caught!
You may be able to get your insurance company to cover your expenses, this is assuming you have purchased adequate protection against uninsured or under-insured drivers. Please check your Insurance’s DECLARATION PAGE to review your coverages. If you are not sure, we would be happy to help. If you have inadequate coverage such as MedPay you may be forced to pay for any expenses out of your own pocket. But all is not lost. If the fleeing hit-and-run suspect is eventually caught then the local District Attorney will file criminal charges and RESTITUTION will be reserved and there is also a VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND which can be tapped for your benefit. See one of us for details.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, don’t allow yourself to be a victim, the experienced team of attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC will help you get the compensation you deserve to restore you back to where you were prior to this mishap.
Call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you!
We SERVE the entire North Bay and have offices in Santa Rosa and San Rafael, CA.