It is illegal across the country to be a part of a car accident, whether you caused it or not, and then flee the scene before the other drivers collect your insurance and identifying information. This universal law does not stop people from partaking in this criminal act, however, and thousands of hit and run accidents occur every year. What are you supposed to do when there seems to be nothing you can do?
If you’re ever in a hit and run accident, remember to follow these five essential steps:
- Pull over: After any sort of traffic collision, the first thing you should do, if able, is move your car to the side of the road and engage the hazard lights. Blocking traffic could cause a secondary accident, or create a jam that slows emergency responders on their path to reach you.
- Call the authorities: Even if no one is hurt, you need the authorities there as soon as possible so you can report the crime. You must also let the authorities handle the situation if the driver waits a while and then flees, which is to say never chase a hit and run driver. All you stand to do is cause another accident.
- Write down what you saw: In most circumstances, you will probably be able to see some identifying features of the driver or the vehicle immediately after a collision. Try to take mental snapshots of the make, model, color, what part of their vehicle struck yours, the direction they were heading, and, if possible, the license plate number or most of it. Write it down as soon as you can. Don’t have a pen and paper pad in your glove compartment? Your phone probably has a free notepad app already.
- Speak to witnesses: Is anyone around who saw the hit and run take place? Good Samaritans will be willing to help you get as much information about the criminal offender, for they know how frustrating it is to be in your situation. Don’t be afraid to ask the people around you for details.
- Contact an attorney: Any car accident claim can benefit from a car accident lawyer’s attention, but for a hit and run claim, it is basically necessary. You could be in for an uphill battle with your own insurance company if the driver is never identified, and it helps to be ready with a professional by your side who has seen cases like yours before. You should retain a lawyer’s help as soon as possible and refrain from contacting your insurance until after you have spoken to them about your options and your coverage – did you remember to by uninsured motorist coverage? You should not, however, put off contacting your insurance for too long, as it can seem suspicious to them if you delay.
For responsive legal assistance at any hour of the day, contact Accident Attorneys. Our Lancaster car accident lawyers are always at the ready to come to the rescue for our clients. We can help you in your home, your office, your hospital room, or even roadside right after your crash. Ask for a free consultation today to learn more.