Car accidents generate over 3000 deaths across the globe every day. While a disproportionate amount of per-capita fatal accidents do not happen domestically, being in a serious accident anywhere is an everyday concern you and everyone else in the world should stay mindful of.
Fortunately, not all accidents are fatal. Many occur, produce vehicle damage, and drivers go on their way after exchanging information. That is, of course, if all drivers involved in an accident remain on the scene.
Hit-and-run accident occurrences though occur regularly leaving accident victims with limited recourse. To be prepared should you ever get involved in a hit-and-run, keep reading. Below, our team breaks down simple steps you can take to ensure your safety and support the best possible outcome.
1. Do Not Follow the Runner
A hit-and-run car accident can bring about a lot of emotions. One of the most common is anger and with anger comes irrational behavior.
One such behavior, which may seem rational at the time, is pursuing the driver that’s trying to flee the scene.
By getting involved in a pursuit, you put the safety of other people on the road at risk as you weave in an attempt to keep up with the party that’s fleeing. Also, you run the risk that the fleeing party doesn’t want to stop because they’re afraid of getting entangled with Stephens Law Firm enforcement. That could mean they’re armed.
No amount of compensation a driver’s insurance company can give you is worth your life so do your best to remember/take down the opposing driver’s plate and remain where you are.
2. Get to Safety
As with all accidents, after being in a hit-and-run accident, your primary objective should be to get to safety. Safety is a place where you’re least likely to come into contact with any more traffic and where you can wait for help to arrive.
Sometimes, getting to safety means remaining in your vehicle. Other times it means exiting your vehicle to move away from traffic. Assess your surroundings and make the best decision based on what you’re seeing.
3. Call the Police
When it’s safe to do so, dial 911, let the operator know what happened, and that you need assistance. Be prepared to share your location and disclose if you feel you need immediate medical attention.
Also, share that the car you were in a crash with fled the scene and proceed to describe any details you can. Details might include a car’s make/model, a driver’s description, and most helpful, the car’s license plate.
When the police arrive, share accident details with them as they will be logged in their report and could help your case should it go to court.
4. Assess If There Are Witnesses
You may want to go through the witness assessment process before police/paramedics arrive on the scene, if possible. That’s because witnesses are quick to forget what happened and may be eager to flee a scene so they don’t have to get involved with an accident.
The sooner you can flag someone that may have seen your accident and ask them for their contact information, the better your odds will be of proving your case in legal forums.
5. Get Medical Attention
While you may not feel the repercussions of your hit-and-run accident immediately after it takes place, you may feel it the following day. Get ahead of those issues by scheduling a visit to a physician either the day your accident takes place or as soon as possible the day after.
A doctor can assess you for physical trauma and prescribe anything you may need to overcome your pain. Also, if you choose to consult a car accident attorney (more on that next) getting an official medical report will be helpful in their ability to seek damages on your behalf.
6. Talk to a Lawyer
We always recommend getting a personal injury attorney on the phone for car accident help as soon as possible after your collision. Personal injury attorneys are masters at pulling in compensation from opposing insurers, particularly after someone has tried to evade legal repercussions by fleeing.
You may be thinking that a personal injury lawyer may be unable to help you because your assailant is MIA. While that could be the case, many injury lawyers have private investigate teams they work with that can help police track down runners.
That value is only available to you if you make the phone call so don’t hesitate for a moment to get legal perspectives on your problems.
7. Speak With Your Insurer
Last but not least, to get the money you’re entitled to from your insurance adjuster, you’ll have to report your accident to them. If at all possible, speak to an attorney before calling your insurance company as they may have some perspective on how you should couch what happened to your provider.
Your insurer will hopefully be able to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
A Hit-and-Run Accident Is No Joke
Victims of a hit-and-run accident can tell you that being on the receiving end of these events is no joke. A hit-and-run robs victims of being able to collect the full amount of insurance they’re entitled to after an accident, often leaving them in precarious financial positions.
If you catalyze a hit-and-run, know that could turn something as simple as letting your insurance company manage some fallout into you having to spend time in prison.
Our team wishes you luck as you manage any current or future accidents you’re party to. We also welcome you to explore more automotive content on our blog for additional guidance.