You may be disoriented or feel discomfort after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. You must first seek medical attention and report the accident to local authorities soon after. By reporting the accident quickly, you ensure prompt attention and investigation. Timely reporting can help identify the perpetrator so you can seek compensation for your injuries.
How Do I Report a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you were in a hit-and-run accident, take the following steps to report the incident, protect your health, and safeguard your legal rights.
Call the Police Immediately
Most states require all involved parties to remain at an accident scene that caused:
- Significant property damage over a specific monetary value
- Personal injury to anyone involved
- Death of one or more individuals
Leaving the scene without reporting a crash to authorities is a hit-and-run, a serious crime that can come with criminal and civil penalties. If someone injured you with their vehicle and left the accident scene, you could seek compensation through a personal injury case.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and safety are paramount. Call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room if you require assistance. Medical attention can protect your physical well-being and legal rights, even if your injuries seem minor. A visit to the emergency room or your primary care physician can document your injuries so you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
File an Accident Report
The responding officer often investigates the crash site and writes an accident report. If you cannot reach the police or they do not visit the accident scene, for example, or if the crash occurred in a remote area, you should file an accident report with authorities as soon as possible. An official crash report can provide documentary evidence to support your injury claim. It can also help authorities identify the party responsible for the hit-and-run.
If necessary, file your crash report with the police department in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. There may be a time limit to file, so it is best to report the accident promptly. Some police departments allow you to submit an accident report online, while others may require you to visit the precinct. If you need help submitting a report, contact the police department or consult a personal injury lawyer.
Document the Accident’s Details
Accident scenes can change rapidly, especially when they occur in high-traffic areas. Gather evidence at the accident site and write down everything you remember about the incident. Include the following, if possible:
- Physical description of the hit-and-run driver
- Description of the hit-and-run vehicle, including its license plate number, color, make, and model
- Explanation and timeline of the accident, with details about roads, intersections, and crosswalks
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
Avoid discussing fault, admitting blame, or pointing fingers. Instead, state the facts of the accident clearly. Your attorney can do the work to establish liability and build a personal injury case.
Obtain Witness Contact Information
When a driver flees the scene of a hit-and-run accident, witnesses can be critical for identifying the perpetrator and establishing the accident’s cause. Sometimes, the responding police officer will include witness contact details in their report. If not, taking any witnesses’ names and contact information is a good idea. You do not need to take a statement right away—your personal injury attorney can handle that later.
Contact a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
Filing a claim after a hit-and-run accident can be challenging, especially while you recover from injuries. A hit-and-run accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and represent your interests during an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Since it can be challenging to pinpoint the liable party in a hit-and-run, it helps to have a personal injury attorney on your side who can investigate the accident and advocate for your compensation.
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Can I File a Personal Injury Claim After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
While hit-and-run drivers may face criminal charges, a criminal case will not help you recover financial damages for your losses. For that, you must file a civil case, such as a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. You could file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, auto insurance company, or health insurance. Such claims can help you cover medical bills and lost income for your hit-and-run injuries.
A lawsuit against the at-fault party can also help you recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. However, it is impossible to file a lawsuit against an unidentified driver. A personal injury firm with experience handling hit-and-run accidents can investigate and try to identify the parties responsible for your injuries. If they cannot find the culprit, your attorney can aim to secure your compensation through other legal actions.
How Can a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Help?
After a hit-and-run accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure about your next steps. An attorney can ease the burden by handling the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on your health.
When you hire an injury attorney to lead your case, they can:
Handle Calls and Correspondence
While you recover from your hit-and-run accident injuries, an attorney can take phone calls, answer emails, and reply to legal correspondence concerning your accident.
Investigate the Accident
After your hit-and-run accident, you may be incapacitated and unable to gather evidence from the scene. An injury attorney can visit the accident scene, take photos, obtain witness statements, and request traffic camera videos or CCTV footage from nearby businesses.
Submit Insurance Claims
Depending on whether the authorities identify the at-fault party, you could have grounds to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance or your own. A knowledgeable hit-and-run accident attorney will know which policies and laws apply to your case. They can help you gather the necessary paperwork and file a claim with the appropriate parties.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Even if you file an insurance claim, you may not receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Sometimes, the at-fault party does not have insurance coverage, or your carrier could deny your claim. Your attorney could file an injury lawsuit to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve from the appropriate parties.
877-239-4878Available 24/7 | 356 Days | se habla español
Call for Help From Our Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer – We Can Help You Report Your Accident
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident, the compassionate personal injury attorneys at Loncar Lyon Jenkins could help you file a report, investigate the accident, and submit a personal injury claim. Contact our team today to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.