Getting into a car accident can be a scary and confusing experience. This is especially true for a hit-and-run incident. Some of the steps a person can take after a hit-and-run incident are similar to other types of car accidents in Sacramento, but there are many differences victims need to be aware of.
6 Things to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
1) Pull Over to a Safe Location
It may be tempting to chase a fleeing driver. Do not do that. If possible, get your vehicle to a safe place and turn your car off.
2) Call the Police Immediately
Dial 911 and let the police know what happened and where you are. If there are any injuries, tell the 911 operator so they can get EMS to the scene.
3) Seek Medical Assistance
If you or anyone else involved in the incident is injured, seek medical assistance as soon as possible. This could mean you need to let EMS tend to your wounds and take you to the hospital. Even if you do not feel any pain immediately after the incident, that does not mean you have not been injured. The signs and symptoms of many car accident injuries do not appear for hours or even days after a car accident.
4) Gather Evidence
Try to remember everything you can about the vehicle and driver who struck you. Take notes or a voice recording (on your phone) of these descriptions so you do not forget any details. Any descriptions you can remember will be helpful when police are searching for the hit-and-run suspect. This following information, if you can remember it, will be vitally helpful:
- The vehicle’s license plate number
- The vehicle’s make, model, and color
- Which direction the vehicle was going
Use your smartphone or another camera to take photos of everything at the scene, including any damages and injuries.
5) Get Eyewitness Information
If there are any eyewitnesses to the incident, whether drivers and passengers in other vehicles or bystanders, get their names and contact information. Ask them to stay on the scene and speak to the police about what they saw.
6) Contact Your Attorney and Insurer
You should consider speaking to an attorney soon after the accident happens. Even if you are not at fault for the hit-and-run incident, an attorney can help ensure you are treated fairly by your own insurance carrier as well as the at-fault driver’s carrier (if the police catch the hit-and-run suspect). Your attorney can also help gather additional evidence in the case.
You are required to let your insurance carrier know that you have been in an accident. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you should be able to recover compensation for any injuries and property damage, up to the limits of your coverage. Your Sacramento car accident attorney can help you work with your insurance carrier to maximize the total compensation amount.
These Incidents Can Lead to Severe Injuries
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there were 26,649 total injuries and 329 fatalities caused by hit-and-run drivers during the latest reporting year. These incidents can lead to serious injuries that leave victims with major medical bills and lost income if they cannot work while they recover.