A hit-and-run accident is one of the worst things that anyone can experience. You may be left dealing with the cost of repairing your car and the cost of medical bills if you were hurt in the accident. Therefore, it is important to know what options are available to help with the financial and emotional toll of such an incident.
Always Call the Police After an Accident
Whether your car was hit in the parking lot while you were in the store or hit on the freeway while you were driving, make sure that the police are called. Even if the other driver leaves the scene, the authorities can record the incident and take steps to help find the driver. In some cases, the other driver may return to the scene of the accident, and insurance and other information can be exchanged.
If the driver does not return to the scene, any information that can be provided by the driver or witnesses to the crash may help catch whoever caused the accident. For instance, it may be possible to gain access to any surveillance cameras nearby. Others who witnessed the accident may remember the make and model of the car or some of the letters or numbers on its license plate. This may be enough to find the car and driver involved in the hit-and-run.
See a Doctor Immediately
If you were in your vehicle at the time of the crash, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. Whether you do this before or after you contact your insurance company depends on how badly you may have been hurt. Going to a doctor may help to diagnose any injuries that you have suffered that you may not feel the symptoms of yet. For instance, many people don’t know that they have suffered neck, back or joint pain until several hours after the accident has occurred. Seeing a medical professional may also help from a liability standpoint if you were in fact injured in a crash but symptoms didn’t present until much later.
Report the Incident to Your Insurance Company
In a no-fault state, your insurance company may be responsible for dealing with any damage to your car or helping to pay for any medical bills incurred after the crash. Instead of trying to find the driver, the only matter that needs to be settled is which portion of your insurance policy will be used to pay for any claim made against it. In the event that you live in a fault state, it may be possible for the insurance company to work with the authorities to track down whoever caused the accident.
It’s Worth Your While to Hire an Attorney
It is still worthwhile to hire an attorney after an accident that caused serious damage to your car or significant injury to yourself or anyone in your vehicle when the crash occurred. Your attorney may also be able to work with authorities or publicize the case through traditional or social media outlets. This may help find whoever caused the crash and hold him or her responsible. Those living in no-fault states may wish to retain an attorney as insurance companies typically want to settle cases as soon as possible. Often, these settlements are not in the best interest of the driver.
It may feel as if you will never get justice after someone flees the scene of a crash that are involved in. However, there is a good chance that whoever caused the accident will be held accountable. In the event that the driver isn’t found, your insurance policy may have contingencies that help you pay for some or all of the damage if the accident wasn’t your fault.