Being involved in a car accident is not something drivers want to experience, but most articles and information out there is designed to help you know how to handle a car accident. However, what about those times when the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, leaving you with vehicle repairs (and maybe even an injury) that needs your immediate attention. If you have been involved in a hit and run, here are the steps you need to take to get your vehicle fixed quickly.
Call the police.
The very first thing you should do is call the police and let them know what happened. Once you know that help is on the way, try to right down anything you may remember about the car that hit you, such as make and model, license plate number, direction they were headed, etc. While you may want to write this info down first, contacting the police is always the most important, especially if anyone in the vehicle has been injured. According to a hit and run attorney in Denver, “Contacting the police should always be done during a hit and run, as the police report will serve as an important piece of information for your case or your insurance claim.”
Move to a safe area.
If possible, move your vehicle to a safe area out of the way of other vehicles. For instance, pull your vehicle onto the shoulder so that your hit and run doesn’t hold up traffic or cause delays for other people on the road. However, if you cannot leave your vehicle or move it, be sure to put your hazards on to let other drivers know you’re stuck. And depending on your vehicle’s condition and your own condition, you may want to consider leaving the vehicle if staying inside puts you at greater risk of injury.
Look for witnesses.
Sometimes you may not remember any details, but there may be people around who spotted something. Take a look around and notice if you see any passersby or anyone in cars around you who may have gotten a look at the car or the license plate number. If you find people who have information, be sure to take their name and contact number down and ask them to stick around until the police arrive.
In addition to looking for other physical witnesses, take a look around and see if you notice any cameras that may have footage of the hit and run. This could be anything from red light cameras to local security cameras on nearby storefronts. Be sure to write down any cameras you see in the area and let the cops know to check them out.
A hit and run is like any other accident in that your insurance company will need information to determine what damage is done to your vehicle. If it is safe to do so, be sure to take any pictures of your vehicle, the damage done to your vehicle, and any surrounding location photos you could take. The more photos you have to prove your case, the better your chances will be for getting the coverage you deserve.
Follow the police’s directions.
A hit and run can be nerve-wracking because you won’t have anyone taking responsibility for the damage done to your car. However, it’s important for you to remain calm and follow the police officer’s directions. This could be anything from contacting your insurance provider right away to being available for a lineup if they believe they caught the individual. The more you can help aid in the investigation, the better the situation will end for you.
Contact your insurance company.
If there is damage done to your vehicle, be sure to contact your insurance company. They will have information and directions for you too in order for your vehicle to get fixed and for your premium to stay intact. Even if your insurance is used to cover the damage, it could be filed as not at fault so you don’t get hit with higher rates because of someone else. Like the police, be sure to provide your insurance company with anything they may ask for to help the process run smoothly.
Being involved in a hit and run is not an experience you hope to encounter, but in the event you do, being prepared will ensure you are making smart moves that are right for you and your vehicle.