How To Handle A Hit And Run

Car accidents may be traumatic and many things are happening at once. The best thing is to remain as calm as possible. Take the necessary measures to ensure any occupants and the vehicle itself are protected from that point on. Regardless of who is at fault, the first rule is to stay on the scene in a safe location.

Remaining at the scene and safe from traffic can help avoid any further headaches and legalities. Failure to pull over the vehicle and exchange information after an accident may include consequences from fines, loss of license, or even incarceration. Should a driver be unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a hit-and-run accident, here are the effective actions that should be taken.

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Recording Information

When a driver leaves the scene of an accident, the victim needs to gather as much information as possible to relay to a law enforcement officer. Communication is key in helping officers locate the other driver and ensures the victim isn’t stuck paying for all the damages. The essential information to record is:

  • The vehicle’s license Plate Number, color, make and model, and approximate year
  • The time and location of the accident
  • Contact information of potential witnesses
  • The direction the driver headed
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident and any damages to the victim’s car

Police Report

The police should be called as soon as possible and an accident report needs to file. The police will need some information to start the report including the names of any possible witnesses, the exact location of the accident, and the direction the driver was heading when entering and leaving the scene.

Once the victim gives their information to the office taking the report, they will need to call their insurance company. From there the insurance company can initiate the next steps necessary.

The Insurance Company

Once an insurance company has an incident report they will begin the claims process. Depending on the victim’s coverage, they may qualify for help with any towing and rental car expenses. If the victim can identify the driver who hit them, they can receive the at-fault driver’s insurance information through their own insurance company. Then, proceed to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s company.

Even then, having minimum car insurance coverage may not offer all the protection needed. Some victims still get stuck being held financially responsible for potential costs. To avoid such situations an uninsured motorist insurance policy should be considered. These policies protect victims against at-fault drivers who have no liability insurance or money to pay for damage and injury expenses they cause. Even with these policies, insufficient insurance coverage may still be an issue.

Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Claims

Uninsured and underinsured driver claims occur when a vehicular accident occurs and the driver responsible does not have insurance (uninsured) or does not have enough insurance to pay for the damages (underinsured). Most victims will have to rely on their insurance company to cover their vehicle and medical expenses. Time and again, insurance companies will withstand paying for the claim and the victim is now struggling to get by.

There are many issues in uninsured and underinsured matters, including breach of an insurance contract, insurance bad faith, and arbitration and mediation with insurance companies. Uninsured motorist lawyers can make sure the victim’s insurance company is taking their claim seriously and that they are treated fairly.

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