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Hit-and-run car accidents: what actions should victims take?

Hit and Run Car Accidents: What Victims Should Do

Hit-and-run accidents are a serious problem on US roads. These accidents occur when a driver causes a collision and then flees the scene, leaving the victim stranded and unsure of what to do next.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an estimated hit-and-run crash happens every 43 seconds! That’s a scary statistic, and the consequences of these accidents can be devastating.

As a victim of a hit-and-run accident, it is important to get the compensation that you deserve. This is where this article steps in. It provides essential information for anyone involved in a hit-and-run accident, including the potential consequences, the importance of filing a case, and the steps you can take to recover compensation.

The Devastating Effects of Hit-and-Run Accidents

Hit-and-run accidents leave victims feeling violated and confused on top of physical injuries. Here’s a breakdown of the consequences:

  • Medical Bills: Hit-and-run accidents can cause serious injuries. Without the at-fault driver’s insurance information, the burden of medical bills falls on the victim.
  • Lost Wages: Injuries often mean missing work, leading to lost income.
  • Vehicle Damage: Repairing or replacing your damaged car can be a huge financial strain.
  • Emotional Trauma: The experience of being left behind after an accident can be emotionally scarring.

Why Should You File a Hit-and-Run Case?

Even though finding the driver might seem impossible, there are still strong reasons to file a hit-and-run case:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Many car insurance policies offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This can kick in and help cover your medical bills and lost wages, even if the at-fault driver is never found.
  • Hit-and-Run is a Crime: A hit-and-run driver has committed a crime by leaving the scene of an accident. Filing a case helps hold them accountable, even if they’re not immediately identified.
  • Building a Paper Trail: A documented case establishes what happened and protects your rights down the line.

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident is stressful. Here’s what you can do to recover compensation:

  1. Prioritize Safety: Ensuring your safety and the safety of others is paramount. If you’re injured, call 911 immediately and request medical attention. If you can safely move your vehicle out of traffic, do so. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
  2. Gather Evidence: While waiting for help to arrive, collect as much evidence as possible from the scene, if you’re physically able to do so. Here’s what to look for:
    • Details about the fleeing vehicle: Try to remember any details about the car that hit you, such as the make, model, color, license plate number (even partial numbers), or any unique features like dents or bumper stickers.
    • Scene of the accident: Take pictures of the damage to your car, any debris left behind, skid marks on the road, and surrounding landmarks like traffic lights or street signs.
    • Witness statements: If anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their names and contact information. Their testimony can be crucial later.
  3. Report the Accident: File a police report with as many details as you can remember about the accident, the fleeing vehicle, and any witnesses. The police report will be a vital document for your insurance claim and potential case.
  4. Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details you have gathered, including the police report number. Depending on your insurance coverage (uninsured/underinsured motorist), they may be able to help cover your medical bills and vehicle repairs.
  5. Consider a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer: While navigating a hit-and-run case can be stressful on your own, a lawyer specializing in hit-and-run accidents can be a valuable asset. They can:
    • Advise you on your legal rights and options.
    • Help you gather additional evidence and track down the hit-and-run driver.
    • Handle complex insurance issues and negotiate a fair settlement.
    • Represent you in court if necessary.

Getting Back on Your Feet

The road to recovery after a hit-and-run accident can be long. But by taking action, you can focus on healing while ensuring you’re not suffering financially or emotionally.

Remember, you’re not alone. There are resources available to help you get back on your feet. A hit-and-run accident lawyer can be a valuable ally in your fight for justice.