What do I do if I’m the Victim of a Hit and Run?
Auto Accident Lawyer Trenton, NJ
When you’re the victim of a hit and run, it’s normal to feel panicked, confused, and concerned. But there are things you can do right away to help regain control of the situation.
What is a hit and run accident?
Anytime a driver involved in a crash leaves the scene, it’s considered a hit and run. The driver can be involved in a collision with another vehicle, property, or human being.
I’m the victim of a hit and run. What should I do first?
Stay at the scene of the accident and call 911. Even if you aren’t hurt and even if your car suffered only minor damage, you should still call 911. If you need to make an insurance claim, such as an “uninsured motorist claim” (which covers hit & run as well), you’ll need to be able to establish what happened. Having a law enforcement official document your story and the basics of the crash (the where and when) is a key piece of evidence which can be of great benefit to your case.
Davis & Brusca, LLC is proud to be an auto accident lawyer Trenton, NJ turns to for help with hit & run. We can guide you through the steps of filing and pursuing your insurance claim.
What if I can’t remember much about the vehicle?
Immediately document everything you can remember. For example, write down:
- Make, model, color of car
- Distinguishing characteristics about the driver: Male, female, blonde, brunette, etc.
- Document any and all facts you can recall, regardless of whether you believe they are relevant. All facts may help law enforcement find the other driver.
- If there is debris from the crash, take pictures with your cell phone. The type and location of the debris relative to your position at the time of the crash can be invaluable evidence.
- If there are markings on your car, or any surrounding objects, from the crash, take pictures to document them as well.
- Get contact details for any witnesses to the event
In addition to simply making a record of what happened, documenting everything right away can help to reduce the impact caused by the natural stress of the circumstances. You’re in pain, scared, and worried. This will reduce your ability to recall key details as time passes. Taking a few minutes to write everything down immediately can prove incredibly valuable.
Do I need to record any physical evidence?
Yes! Record as much as you can!
Take photos, videos, notes of your discussion with witnesses, etc. Any information that you can arm yourself with will be valuable if (and likely when) you are required to prove what happened. All of these things can be provided to law enforcement and insurance companies, helping to bring justice to your case.
If you see things like tire tracks or broken off pieces of the other car, take photos to document their condition at the scene. Photos can also help to document weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
I don’t believe I’ve suffered any injuries. Do I have to go to the doctor?
It is advisable to seek medical attention even if you believe you “will be ok.” Frequently, victims of auto accidents don’t feel the effects of their injuries right away. The adrenaline rush and confusion of the situation can mask physical symptoms of whiplash and other common injuries. If you forego an immediate medical evaluation, that fact may be used as part of an effort to discredit your claim and your insurance may not accept future claim submissions. It will be easier for the insurance company to acknowledge the fact that your pain and symptoms come from this crash, and make it harder for the company to attribute it to other “conditions” (like the aging process), if you have had a prompt medical evaluation.
Will I have to pay anything on my insurance claim?
This depends on the type and level of coverage you have selected on your auto insurance. If you have a deductible, it’s likely you will have to pay it. The most common coverage involved in this situation is uninsured motorist coverage. If you have uninsured motorist “property damage” on your policy, you may be able to use that coverage to avoid the deductible which typically applies on “collision” coverage. There are too many variables here to give a fully accurate assessment without speaking with you. If you’ve been a victim of a hit and run, call Davis & Brusca, LLC today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Thank you to our friends and contributors for their insight and experiences with hit and run accident cases.