Car accidents and crashes are common and 10% of these are hit-and-runs. A hit-and-run is a criminal offense in the US. It is punishable by law depending on the severity of the violation. Now, what do you do if you are a victim of a hit and run? Here are some important considerations.
Identify the Offender
Call the police immediately if they haven’t arrived yet. Then, collect your thoughts and begin rewinding the incident in your mind.
The leading challenge in a hit-and-run car crash is catching the offender. Most of the time, police officers are unable to get a solid lead if you can’t provide enough information about the other driver.
As much as possible, write your observations regarding the incident. If you had a glimpse of the car plate number, this info would be a great way to track the offender. If not, try remembering the model and color of the car. You can ask witnesses from nearby houses or business establishments if there are any.
While waiting for the police, look around you and see if there are any nearby security cameras. Take pictures of the damages because these will serve as your documentation once you file Santa Fe Car Insurance claims.
If you can identify the physical appearance of the driver, this would also be a great help during the investigation by police. Stay as calm as possible when you narrate what happened to the police. It will help you remember things you haven’t taken note of while waiting.
Get Your Injuries Treated
After giving all the details to the police, get medical treatment for your injuries, even if you don’t see visible scratches. You might have internal injuries like broken bones that you’d only feel after your brain and senses have calmed.
Either you go to the hospital if you can still manage it or call an ambulance to take you. Regardless, it’s best to request some tests to ensure you’re doing fine inside and out.
The test results of these medical treatments could become part of your documentation when claiming insurance. Your intention signifies that you’re taking the matter seriously.
File a Claim for Damages
This is another huge hurdle after the hit-and-run incident. If you can identify the offender properly, you don’t have to do anything since the offender party’s insurance will shoulder everything. They’d be the ones filing for an insurance claim to pay you.
However, if you can’t identify the driver/offender, you need to file an insurance claim so you can recover damages. What benefits could you claim in a hit-and-run accident?
- Medical expenses including medical bills in case you get admitted to the hospital due to injuries
- Lost wages because you were confined as a result of the accident
- Repair costs for the rebuild of your car
- Physical therapy costs if you need to undergo long-term rehabilitation caused by the hit-and-run accident
- Intangible costs such as suffering, pain, or emotional stress caused by the accident.
However, there are some things you should remember when trying to recover damages with non-economic damages (pain, suffering, and emotional stress). Read the next section for a detailed discussion.
Speak With an Expert
In every accident, whether hit-and-run or regular ones, victims experience pain, trauma, and many types of suffering. Often, these non-economic damages are unquantifiable in terms of amount.
Thus, you’ll need to consult and work with an expert in personal injury. This expert is an attorney who has extensive knowledge of hit-and-run insurance claims. Remember, this type of claim has an arduous and lengthy process because of the absence of an offender.
Other Things to Remember
What if you’re not driving?
What if your car is parked and you find out that someone hit your car and didn’t identify himself or herself?
The procedures are still the same as if you were driving the car. As an added tip, you can ask someone to inspect your car first before driving it. Make sure your car doesn’t have unseen damage that could result in it exploding or the brake not working properly.
Can you install a dashcam for future surveillance security in your car?
As of this writing, any windshield obstructions are restricted and prohibited in most states. In some states, the restrictions are unclear. So, before you install one for your car, consult the law in your state and an expert to ensure you’re not violating any regulations.
About Daniels Insurance, Inc.
At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.