You could have been driving alone, minding your own business, when a car suddenly came out of nowhere, hit you, and sped off. Perhaps, you were riding a bicycle and a driver got a little too close and knocked you off onto the pavement. Worse yet, a driver could have hit your child and left the scene. What can you do after a hit and run accident to protect yourself and your loved ones?
Call 911. If anyone needs immediate medical attention, this is your first priority. However, even if immediate medical attention is not necessary, alerting the police to the location of the accident as soon as possible increases the chances that the hit and run driver will be apprehended.
Try to notice as many details as possible. The more you can remember about the vehicle or its driver, the better chance the police will have to find and apprehend the person responsible. If you are capable, identify possible witnesses at the scene who can potentially remember and identify additional details.
Take photos. If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Tire marks, skid marks, debris from the hit and run vehicle, and other physical evidence can help identify the vehicle who hit you and tell a story about how the accident happened. Even if the other driver is found guilty of hit and run, you must still prove that he was at fault for the accident in order to recover your damages.
Make sure you have enough insurance. This is the most important protective measure you can do to protect yourself in case of a hit and run accident, but, of course, it must be done before an accident occurs. Many drivers leave the scene of an accident because they do not have proper insurance. Some hit and run drivers are never found. If the driver who hit you is not found or is uninsured, you can still make a claim with your own insurance company for uninsured motorist benefits. Make sure you have enough coverage to protect you and your family if one or more of you is seriously injured in a hit and run accident.
Seek the advice of an attorney. Don’t wait to talk to a personal injury attorney after a hit and run accident. Important evidence can be lost or destroyed within days or even hours after an accident, and your attorney can send investigators to collect and preserve this evidence if necessary. You may be able to get compensation for lost wages and/or medical expenses even before the other driver is found. If litigation is necessary, you will need an experienced attorney in your corner.
The attorneys at The O’Brien Firm are available any time for free, no obligation consultations. Just call 716-907-7777 to arrange an appointment. Visit the firm’s website at https://www.theobrienfirm.com/personal-injury/ for more information. COVID-19 UPDATE: Although we are working from alternate locations, we remain fully functional and look forward to helping you.