Anyone involved in an accident finds the experience horrifying, and they often react in unexpected ways. Accidents can make you feel things you have never felt before: extreme adrenaline, the pounding of your heart, etc. You may even lose the ability to think clearly.
These experiences may cause people to break the law and commit a “hit and run.” This can be a result of not having the adequate knowledge on how to react after a vehicle accident. But you can arm yourself with the right information and prepare yourself in case you are ever involved in a “hit and run” accident.
Never Leave the Scene of the Accident
Even if you think you can, you should never run after the perpetrator. You will only make things worse. You may crash into someone else or end up more injured than you were initially.
Never leave the area, because the law demands you remain at the site of the accident. You should wait for emergency medical responders to arrive, especially if somebody was injured. Wait for the police and emergency medical responders to advise you that you’re allowed to leave.
Contact Law Enforcement Immediately
As soon you’ve made sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe, your next step is to call law enforcement immediately. Doing this will enable you to clear everything up, and will allow you to be present when the police make their initial police report.
Police reports are essential since they are be the starting point of an investigation. They can help you prove your claim. You can also use the police report as evidence when you want to file a lawsuit, as it is a legal document that you can use during court hearings.
Contents of an initial police report include:
- Opinion of the law enforcement officers who responded to your call
- Pictures of:
- Area of the accident
- Names of everyone involved
- Statements of everyone affected
- Place and time of the crash
Collect as Much Proof as You Can
It’s crucial that you gather as much proof or evidence as you can, as that material can help you find the perpetrator and prove your case and claim. The evidence will help you file a complaint about your damages and injuries. It’s also used as proof that you’re the victim if the person at fault reverses the story and points his/her finger at you.
You can gather:
- Photographs of damages to your property/properties
- Pictures of your injuries, as well as the injuries of other people involved in the accident
- Video of the crash captured by your dashcam
- Footage from any CCTV in the area of the accident
Pictures and videos are essential evidence, as the court consider them demonstrative evidence.
Take Careful Notes of Every Detail You Remember
As soon as possible, write down every detail of the accident that you can remember. Your memory will fade as time goes by, no matter how sound your mind is, so you shouldn’t wait for when you should do this.
Make sure to write down immediately:
- The person at fault’s license plate
- Events that occurred after, during, and after the accident
- Model, make, and color of the perpetrator’s vehicle
- The direction that the perpetrator headed
Look for Any Possible Witnesses
If you think other people were present during the incident, try to contact them as soon as you can. When you’ve gotten in touch with any possible witnesses, make sure to:
- Write down his/her contact information
- Write what they think happened during the incident
- Ask him/her if he/she has seen the license plate number or face of the perpetrator
- Ask him/her if he/she is willing to give a statement the police
Witnesses are crucial if you want to look for the person at fault. And they can help you prove that you’re the victim.
See a Medical Doctor As Soon As Possible
If the accident caused you injury, make sure to go to a hospital and see a doctor immediately. A doctor can help you prevent any severe damage, as maybe your injuries may not show right after the accident.
Also, when you get checked by a doctor, he/she will be able to give you a medical report. A medical report is crucial when you file a claim, as insurance companies won’t provide you with compensation unless you have proof that your injuries are from the accident.
Consult a Lawyer Immediately
Make sure to contact a lawyer right after the accident. The lawyer will be able to help you to determine legally what things you need to do.
When you’ve contacted a lawyer, make sure to be honest when talking about the accident. And if you already reached witnesses and have evidence, make sure to give your lawyer a copy as well. Lawyers who have studied hit and run accidents, such as ones here, might be helpful in your particular situations.
This may be a frustrating time for you; you’ve been victimized, and the culprit may be unwilling to take responsibility. However, if you do things right, with the help of a lawyer justice is within your reach.
Disclaimer: this information is only a general overview of “hit and run” accidents. If you or anybody that you know is involved in a “hit and run” accident, consult a lawyer as soon as possible.
Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.