A hit and run accident occurs almost every minute in the US. Since 2006, an average of 682,000 crashes has occurred every year. Nearly 65% of these incidents involved pedestrians or bicyclists.
Whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or your feet, it’s important to know how to react after a hit and run accident. Otherwise, you might have to pay for your medical bills and damages alone.
Instead, keep reading to discover the nine steps you should follow after an accident. With this guide, you can gather the evidence you need to make a case.
Then, you can contact a hit and run lawyer and file a lawsuit.
Don’t let an accident impact your future. Discover what to do after an accident with this guide today!
- Attempt to Identify the Driver
It’s normal to feel disoriented immediately after a crash. Unfortunately, the police aren’t always able to catch hit and run drivers. If you want to strengthen your case, how you react right after the crash is essential.
Try to identify the other driver before they leave the scene of the crash. Write down everything you notice. If you can, use your phone to record the driver before they leave.
Try to make a note of the other driver’s:
- Gender, hair color, or other physical features
- Their vehicle’s make, model, and color
- A partial license plate number
The information you gather before they drive off could help you file a lawsuit. Otherwise, you might struggle to build a case.
- Move to Safety
Don’t rush to get out of the car. Instead, make sure you’re safe to move. If you experience any neck or back pain, call for help.
You don’t want to make your pain worse. Otherwise, you could develop a serious disability.
Try to take a breath and remain calm. Remember, how you react immediately after a hit and run accident can impact your case. You don’t want your emotions to get the better of you.
It’s important to move to a safe area right away. Otherwise, you could put yourself or others in additional danger.
Try to get out of the way of incoming traffic. Remain close to the scene of the crash, though. The police will want to see where the hit and run accident occurred.
Were you driving? Assess your car before you start to move it. Take photos of your car and its position.
Then, determine if your car is safe to drive.
Don’t move your car if:
- Fluid is leaking
- The brakes or tires have sustained damages
- There’s serious damage to the hood or engine
Unsure whether or not your car is safe to move? Speak with the police. They’ll let you know if your vehicle is safe to drive.
Remember to stay at the scene. Otherwise, you could receive hit and run charges, too.
- Assess Your Injuries
While you wait for the police to arrive, take a moment to assess your injuries. It’s normal for adrenaline to mask your pain. You might not realize you were severely injured until days after the accident.
Don’t wait a week to visit a doctor. Instead, schedule an appointment with a medical professional right away.
Only a medical professional can fully assess your injuries. You’ll need their official report if you plan on filing a lawsuit.
Take photos of your injuries while you’re at the scene of the crash (while they’re fresh). That way, no one can claim that you were injured after the accident.
If you were severely injured, call for medical attention while you’re still at the scene. Otherwise, you might not realize you’re bleeding internally until the situation is severe.
Was your vehicle hit from behind? If your head snapped forward, then back, you might have a whiplash injury. Whiplash symptoms can include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Pain in your arms or hands
- Ringing in your ears
- Numbness in your hands or arms
- Memory or concentration issues
- Blurred vision
- Low back pain
Google “car accident chiropractor near me” and schedule an appointment. They’ll determine if you sustained musculoskeletal injuries.
It’s important to receive treatment right away. Otherwise, your injuries could get worse.
Track your treatments, too. Your medical bills can help a hit and run lawyer calculate your losses. They can then fight for the compensation you deserve.
- Assess the Damage
Walk around your vehicle or bike. How severe are the damages?
Take a photo and video footage of everything. Physical evidence can strengthen your case. A judge or jury is more likely to believe your claim if you have physical evidence.
- Gather Evidence
It’s normal to forget certain details after an accident. Write everything you remember down while you’re at the scene of the accident.
What direction were you headed in? What direction was the other driver going? Were there any obstructions in the road?
Did anyone witness the accident? Get their contact information. An official witness could strengthen your case.
- Call the Police
In many states, you’re legally obligated to call the police after an accident. Don’t leave the scene of the crash without calling the police. Then, make an official statement.
Don’t embellish. Instead, stick to the facts.
Get the police officer’s name and badge number. Your hit and run accident lawyer might want to contact them later. You’ll also need a copy of their official report.
- File an Insurance Claim
File an insurance claim while you’re at the scene of the accident. Some insurance companies require you to use an app. Have their app downloaded before an incident.
- Call a Lawyer
Call an experienced hit and run lawyer and schedule a consultation appointment. Look for someone who specializes in hit and runs.
They’ll know which laws and procedures are relevant to your case.
Your lawyer will help you determine whether or not you have enough evidence for a case. They can also start an investigation to find the at-fault party.
- File a Lawsuit
If your lawyer decides you have a case, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. With their help, you can receive compensation to cover your losses.
Without help from a lawyer, however, you could make costly mistakes. They’ll keep you on the right track.
Protect Yourself: 9 Steps to Take After You’re Involved in a Hit and Run
You shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket to cover damages and medical bills after an accident. Instead, follow these steps after a hit and run. By following these steps, you can gather evidence and build a case.
Then, you can fight for the compensation you deserve.
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