Car accidents can be incredibly stressful and can result in potentially devastating injuries. In the best-case scenario, all vehicles pull out of traffic, create an accident report with the police, exchange information, and so on. In some situations, particularly in super-densely populated areas like California, the offending driver may cause a collision, then subsequently flee the scene.
This type of accident is referred to as a hit-and-run, for obvious reasons. Many drivers, however, don’t know how to respond when they have been the victim of a hit-and-run, which means they may not take the steps needed to build a claim for damages with a California personal injury attorney. Here are 7 things you should do if you are even involved in a hit-and-run.
Try To Identify the Other Driver
The first thing to do is try to ID the other driver or their vehicle, however, do not chase them. While you should take any steps you can, taking a picture or video, or making notes while the memory is fresh, leaving the scene of the accident could compromise your claim. Getting security camera footage from local businesses may be a vital resource for this, and an attorney can help you get it.
Contact Emergency Services
Call for police and medical transport. While the police are not able to catch many hit-and-run offenders, you will still need to have an accident report created. You will eventually need the report for your claim, particularly in a hit-and-run.
Document the Accident & Surroundings
This is an important thing to do before you leave the area for medical treatment. Be sure you take ample pictures of the scene of the accident, the surroundings, and more. Document everything you can, you never know what will be of use, and you won’t get another chance.
Get Medical Treatment & Have Your Injuries Documented
Even if you don’t feel like you were injured, have a doctor or other medical professional examine you and document all injuries. This is another step that is absolutely essential if you hope to try to recover compensation for injuries or medical bills later.
Understanding the Hit-And-Run Claims Process in California
California is an at-fault state, so while you will be able to file a claim for damages, you will most likely have to do it using your uninsured motorist coverage if your collision policy doesn’t cover it. While the coverage limits may not cover everything, it is something and can give you some protection.
Will I Be Able to Recover Damages From a Hit-And-Run Accident?
This will generally depend on the specifics of your case, but in most cases, you will be able to recover some degree of compensation for your injuries and losses. Your damages will generally be broken down into economic and non-economic damages.
Get Experienced Legal Help
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, one of the most powerful tactics for building a strong case is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Not only do they have priceless experience and knowledge of the claims system, but they will also act as your negotiator and personal advocate when dealing with your insurance company. Contact our office today for legal assistance, we offer a free consultation.