Auto accidents are stressful enough, but when the culprit flees the scene, things become even worse. A hit and run makes it difficult for your insurance company to cover any property damage or personal injury claims you may have, as a car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts can explain.
Unfortunately, hit and run auto accidents are on the rise all over the U.S., so what can you do to protect yourself?
If you are the victim of a hit and run, follow these 5 important steps:
1.Don’t Chase The Culprit
Pull over when it is safe to do so and call the police immediately. If someone has been injured, make sure they receive medical assistance. Under no circumstance should you pursue the person who hit you, you may find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Besides, you need to remain at the scene so you can look for witnesses and make a police report.
2.Get As Much Information As Possible
One small detail may help the police find the person who struck your car, so try to gather as much information as possible, including:
- The license plate number
- The make/model/color of car
- The direction in which the driver took off
- The time and location of the accident
- A physical description of the person
- Witnesses to the accident
- Pictures of the damage done to your car
3.Make A Police Report
Always call the police if you’ve been in an auto accident. Creating a police report about the incident will be crucial to filing a claim with your insurance company. Provide the police with as much of the above information as possible.
4.Contact Your Auto Insurance Company
Once there is a police report, you’ll want to file an insurance claim. Every insurance policy is different, and yours may not cover hit and run incidents. To avoid being financially responsible for an accident you did not cause, make sure your auto insurance policy has at least one of the following coverages:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: this can help provide coverage for any injury caused by an uninsured, negligent driver. In the case of a hit and run, the negligent driver is unknown and therefore uninsured.
Collision Coverage: this can help cover the cost of repairing/replacing the damage to your car
5.Beware The “False Information” Hit and Run
If you and another driver exchange information after an accident, but their information turns out to be false, that is considered a hit and run. Don’t let the other driver talk you out of calling the police or offer you cash on the spot. Their avoidance to involve the police and insurance companies should not sit right with you.
If you’ve been injured in a hit and run, contact a skilled personal injury lawyer today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into hit and run cases.