Hit and run accidents can be devastating for victims. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, but the reality is that these incidents occur all the time. If you or somebody you care about is involved in a hit and run accident, then you need to know what steps to take after a hit and run accident in order to help maximize the compensation you receive.
As angry as you may get when you see the vehicle that struck you flee the scene, do not attempt to chase them down. This will only make the situation worse and could jeopardize other people’s lives.
Call 911 after a hit and run accident occurs. Let the dispatcher know what happened and let them know if anybody is injured so EMS can be sent to the scene of the crash. Try to remember as much as possible about the vehicle and driver involved. This includes the make, model, and color of the vehicle, the direction the vehicle was driving, the description of the driver, and even a partial license plate number if you can remember it.
If you have been injured, even if your injuries seem relatively minor, you need to seek medical assistance. The signs and symptoms of many car accident injuries often do not become apparent until hours or even days after the crash. By seeking medical attention, you are creating a link between the hit and run crash and your injuries.
If you are able to do so safely, use your smartphone or another camera to take photographs of the scene. This can include damages to any vehicles, any causes of the crash, any injuries, traffic and weather conditions, debris lying around the crash scene, and more.
If there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, be sure to get their names and contact information. This includes drivers and passengers in other vehicles as well as pedestrians who witnessed the incident.
You are required to report any crash to your auto insurance carrier as soon as possible after the incident occurs. You do not have to go into detail about the incident when you first make your report, but you need to be aware of what your policy covers. Drivers in Arizona are not required to carry uninsured or under assured motorist coverage, both of which could be beneficial in a hit and run crash. If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, this could help pay any medical bills incurred due to the incident if the hit and run driver is not caught or if the driver is caught but does not have insurance.
If you have any trouble understanding your insurance coverage policy, or trouble securing compensation from the hit and run driver if they have been caught, you may need to seek assistance from a Phoenix car accident attorney with experience handling hit and run cases. An attorney will have the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation and help secure maximum compensation.