A car accident hit and run in which a driver hits a vehicle and takes off can be one of the most stressful kinds of accidents. Although this act is illegal, many drivers – particularly those without insurance – attempt it anyway. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 11 percent of all car accidents reported to police involve a hit-and-run driver. Although collecting compensation for injuries and vehicle damage can be difficult, it can be done. Here, a Raleigh lawyer explains what the victim can do to make the most out of a frustrating situation.
Steps to Take after a Car Accident: Hit and Run
The most important thing a victim can do is write down as much information about the offender as possible. Vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers are helpful bits of information to have. If neither is available, a description of the location of the accident and how and when the accident occurred often will suffice. If there were any witnesses, it is important to get their names and contact information as well.
The next step is to provide this information to the police. Even if the victim cannot recall much information, having a police report can assist the insurance adjuster and make the process of filing a claim smoother. The police may use the information from the report to track down the offender when officers make stops or if the offender attempts to repair the vehicle at an auto body shop after incurring serious damage. The victim also will have a hard copy document to use as evidence.
It is important for victims of a car accident hit and run never to track down the offender themselves. Chasing after a hit-and-run driver can result in another serious accident. In addition, some hit-and-run drivers are intoxicated and should not be trusted. They could cause harm to victims who attempt to chase them after a car accident.
Filing a Claim for a Car Accident Hit and Run
Sometimes the offender is caught, but there are times when he or she cannot be located. If the person’s license plate number can be identified, the victim can contact the other party’s insurance company and file a claim. If the offender cannot be identified, the victim can attempt to recover compensation through his or her own insurance company. However, that may be impossible unless the victim has uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance.
If the other driver has no insurance and the victim has no uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, then they will likely receive no compensation from the insurance company. One option is to pay for the damage out of pocket. However, if the vehicle was seriously damaged or totaled, then this could be a huge expense. Another route is to contact a Raleigh personal injury lawyer who can discuss the victim’s legal rights.
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney, Raleigh, NC
Those who are having difficulty collecting damages from their insurance company may wish to get help from the legal system. Brent Adams is a personal injury attorney in Raleigh, NC, who focuses on his clients and makes sure they get their desired results. Victims of car accidents, hit and run and otherwise, can contact his office at (910) 892-8177.