What happens if you are involved in a Hit and Run Accident?

John Morelli

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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer

Contributor Level 11

Posted over 4 years ago. 6 helpful votes

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1

Get as much of a description of the other vehicle as possible.

If the other vehicle leaves the scene, do not panic. Do not try to take matters into your own hands. Record any identifying information about the other vehicle as possible. The license plate number and state are the most important information that you can record. Write it down if you get it, or any part of it. Next try to record the color and make of the car. Lastly, if you saw the driver, try to record any identifying information. Was it a man or a woman? Could you tell the approximate age? Were there any unique features?

2

Call the Police!

It is critical that you document that you were involved in an accident. A police report is not only the best way to document this, it may be the best way to identify the other driver if possible. Some states require that the matter be reported to the police within a certain amount of time in order to pursue an action for uninsured motorist benefits. This will be explained in more detail below. If you are unable to summon the police to the scene, go to the nearest police station as soon as possible. Do not wait.

3

Document that you have been involved in an accident.

Take photos of your car, the scene and any other thing that is relevant to establish that you were in an accident. With everyone having cell phones with cameras these days, if you can take pictures of your vehicle at the scene, do it!

4

Report the accident to your insurance company.

This is also critical to document your accident and is required under the terms of most insurance policies in order to pursue a claim for uninsured motorist benefits. Do so as soon as possible, but after you have called the police or reported the accident to your insurance company.

5

Now what? What can I do if the other driver left and I am hurt?

Your insurance policy has a provision for uninsured motorist benefits. It provides that if you are in an accident with a motorist that has no insurance, you can recover against the coverage that you selected. There may be important prerequisites to recovery, such as prompt reporting to your insurance company and to the police. If you are injured, your injuries fall under the uninsured motorist coverage portion of the policy. This covers not only drivers who you know are uninsured, but those who leave the scene, otherwise known as "Phantom Vehicles". Your property damage may also be covered under this portion of the policy. Most important, if you are injured, your injuries would be covered under this portion of the plicy.

6

Consult with an attorney.

This area of the law has numerous traps for the unwary. There are a number of areas in which a competent attorney can guide you through the process. Most attorneys will operate on a contingency fee, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee. You should at least be granted a free consultation in order to see if you have a viable claim. Beware of any attorney that wants to charge for a consultation or for representation.

Additional Resources

www.johnmorelli.com

The Law Offices of John Morelli

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