The last thing anybody needs after a long day is to find themselves involved in a car accident which another person is responsible for. The only thing that can make matters worse, however, is suddenly seeing this person take off in their vehicle without stopping to exchange information. By learning what to do when a hit and run accident occurs, a driver can be better prepared should they find themselves in this unfortunate situation.
What is a Hit and Run?
A hit and run is an illegal misdemeanor or felony, dependent upon the severity of the incident, in which a person causes a traffic collision of some type and then flees the scene. One common misconception regarding hit-and-runs is that they need to occur between two moving vehicles. However, a vehicle simply bumping another in a parking lot, even if no one is inside the other car, and then taking off still counts as a hit and run.
5 Steps to Follow During a Hit and Run
Due to the complexities in claiming compensation after a hit and run, it’s best to learn how to respond to the situation appropriately so as not to escalate the issue:
- Move your car to a safe location
First and foremost, you should move your vehicle to a safe location right when the accident occurs so that you don’t cause a secondary collision on the road. In the event your vehicle is too badly damaged to move, do everything in your power to alert other drivers well in advance that your vehicle is sitting in the road.
- Do not chase the other vehicle
While it may be extremely tempting to follow the other vehicle when you see them take off, it’s highly advised to never follow the other car. You never know why that person is fleeing the scene and it could be because they have some type of record or reason to fear the law. Chasing after their vehicle may lead to additional problems that are far more dangerous than the current situation you are in. Try to simply read their license plate or take note of the make and model of their car before they get too far away.
- Inspect yourself and others for injuries
A car accident, regardless of how large it is, can leave lasting injuries on a person, but the shock of the incident can occasionally mask the severity of injuries. One of the first steps to take after an accident is to inspect yourself and others in the vehicle for signs of injury. Remember that not all injuries will be visible right away, so take a peek at all parts of yourself to be sure that nothing is amiss following the collision. In the event someone is hurt, contact emergency services as soon as possible so that they can receive medical assistance.
- Compile as much information as you remember
As mentioned, chasing after the other vehicle involved is not advised, but aim to remember as many details about the incident as possible. Anything truly helps when it comes to an investigation, so try to write down details as soon as possible after the accident. Even if that means taking notes on your phone to tell the authorities, giving them any information to go off of will be extremely helpful during the case.
- Contact your insurance provider
After a car accident occurs, even though you weren’t at fault, you will need to contact your insurance provider to let them know what occurred. At first, just inform them that there was a hit and run accident. The specific details will be given at a later time if an adjustor gives you a call to sort through it all. So long as you have an insurance policy that covers this type of incident, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about the cost of repairing your vehicle.
Protect yourself on the road today
As a driver, you can only control what your own vehicle does, not the other vehicles on the road. While the average person may never find themselves involved in a car accident, it doesn’t mean that they don’t occur. The majority of individuals will stop and exchange information, as well as check if you’re alright when a car accident occurs, but there may be someone who doesn’t. By using the above tips, you can stay safe in this situation and receive assistance.