December 18, 2023
What Should You Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience, and it can be even more frightening if the other driver flees the scene. Hit-and-run accidents can leave victims with serious injuries and extensive property damage, and they can also make it difficult to recover compensation for your losses.
Steps to Follow When You Experience a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are ever involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to take the following steps:
Step 1: Ensure Safety First
Immediately check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If safe to do so, move your vehicle to a safer spot, like a parking lot or the side of the road, away from active traffic lanes.
Step 2: Call 911
Report the accident and any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem. Request a police officer to come to the scene.
Step 3: Gather Details and Document the Scene
Write down or record any details you can recall about the fleeing vehicle: make, model, color, license plate number, and any distinguishing features. Photograph the damages to your vehicle, surrounding road conditions, skid marks, and any other relevant details.
Step 4: Look for Witnesses
Approach anyone who might have seen the accident and ask for their account. Collect names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Step 5: Avoid Making Assumptions or Accusations
Stick to the facts when speaking to anyone about the accident. Avoid speculating about the other driver’s intentions or assigning blame.
Step 6: File a Police Report
Provide all the details you’ve gathered, including witness accounts. Ask how you can obtain a copy of the report for your records.
Step 7: Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, certain injuries might not manifest immediately. A medical report can be crucial for insurance or legal purposes later on.
Step 8: Notify Your Insurance Company
Report the hit-and-run as soon as possible. Provide all necessary documentation and cooperate fully, but remember to understand your rights and entitlements under your policy.
Step 9: Consult a Lawyer
Reach out to a legal professional for advice, especially if you’re unsure about your rights or if you’re facing challenges with your insurance claim.
Step 10: Keep Detailed Records
Maintain a folder with all relevant documents: medical reports, repair bills, police reports, and any correspondence related to the accident. Track any related expenses, such as medical treatments, vehicle repairs, and rental cars.
Step 11: Follow Up
If the offending driver is located, your insurance company or legal counsel will guide you on the next steps.
Stay informed about the status of your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.
Tips for seeking compensation after a hit-and-run accident:
- File a claim with your insurance company. Even if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may be able to cover your losses under other provisions of your policy.
- Obtain legal representation. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and they can assist you in recovering compensation for your losses.
- Be prepared to negotiate. In many cases, hit-and-run accident claims are settled out of court. Be prepared to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company in order to reach a fair settlement.
- Do not give up. If the other party’s insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it may be necessary to recover the full amount of compensation you deserve.
- Keep a record of all expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs.
- Be aware of the statute of limitations in your state. The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may be barred from recovering compensation.
- Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company without an attorney present. The insurance company may try to get you to say something that could harm your case.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to speak with a Maryland car accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney in Silver Spring can help you understand your rights and options, and they can assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve.
Being a victim of a hit-and-run is undoubtedly distressing. Yet, with the right steps and legal guidance, you can navigate the aftermath with confidence. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t hesitate to seek assistance. Take action today; reach out to Montero Law Group, LLC, and let us be your pillar of strength in these trying times.