Hit-and-run accidents are more common than most of us may think. These types of accidents occur for various reasons, such as the driver having no insurance, the driver being involved in legal issues, the driver leaving the scene out of fear or the driver is intoxicated. Nearly 30 percent of drivers in the United States are uninsured. For this reason, it is important that you carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, so that you are protected in the unfortunate case that someone who does not have auto insurance or has minimal coverage hits you.
Here are some helpful tips if you suffer a hit-and-run accident:
1. Get details quickly before the driver gets away. Get the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle, color of the vehicle, and any information about the driver that you observe;
2. Call the police and file a report;
3. Get medical treatment if you are injured;
4. Call your insurance company; and 5. Contact a car accident lawyer.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, get details quickly. Try to get the license plate number, or as much of it as possible, and call the police immediately to report the accident and give them your location. If you have passengers in your car at the time, ask them to get as many details of the vehicle as they possibly can, before the vehicle gets away. Details such as make, model, vehicle color, and driver information will be extremely helpful to law enforcement. Getting the color of the vehicle that hit you will not only be important to law enforcement when they attempt to locate the automobile, but your insurance company will also need this information if you make a property damage claim through your insurance policy to help them determine what damage was caused by the hit-and-run accident and what damage, if any, was previous damage to your vehicle.
You will need to file a report with your local police department. Calling to report the accident to the police is not sufficient. Your insurance policy will require you to file a report with the police department.
Go to your local emergency room or your family doctor as soon as possible if you feel that you are injured. It is important to seek treatment immediately if you are hurt so that the insurance company will not try to blame your injuries on something other than the wreck. If you wait a while to seek treatment, this gives the insurance company the opportunity to blame your injuries on other activities you may be involved in or another injury you may receive that is unrelated to the accident.
Call your insurance company. Your adjuster will be able to tell you or your lawyer what coverages your policy holds, if you don’t already know. In order for your insurance company to pay for any damages, you must carry a certain coverage called collision coverage and/or uninsured property damage coverage. These coverages have a different deductible and requirements, so talk with your attorney about the details. Usually, an attorney will recommend that you get a few estimates to repair the damage done to your vehicle. Doing this immediately after the accident will speed up the process of getting reimbursement from the insurance company to get your vehicle repaired. You may be asked to make your vehicle available for an insurance adjuster to come to your home or place of business take pictures. Different insurance companies handle the property damage part of the claim differently. Therefore, it is important to have your car accident lawyer explain to process to you. If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run accident and would like to talk with an experienced hit-and-run car accident attorney, please call The Pfeifer Law Firm at 501.374.4440. We will answer any questions you may have at no charge. You may also contact us online for a free initial consultation.