I'm the Victim of a Hit and Run Car Accident, Now What?
Philadelphia accident attorney Rand Spear discusses what people should do following a hit-and-run car accident.
Every car accident is a stressful event, even when it’s a simple fender bender. However, when the driver who caused the accident flees the scene, there is a lot of added stress, anxiety and frustration. Victims of hit-and-run car accidents are often left not knowing what to do and whether they will be able to obtain compensation for their injuries and property damage.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, then you know how it feels to be left wondering what your next steps are, or if there even are any to take. If you are the victim of a car wreck due to someone else's negligence, it's in your best interest to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. Below, you will find important steps you should take immediately following an accident in which the culpable driver takes off.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident
When you follow you these steps, your chances of recovering compensation for damages sustained in a hit-and-run car wreck are much improved.
1. Gather Information about the Other Driver and Vehicle
If you can, in the few seconds that you have before the other driver flees the scene, make note of any key observations you have that will help identify the car and driver. Look for the following:
- Vehicle identification – make, model, and color, any areas that are damaged from the accident, bumper stickers, tinted windows, etc.
- License plate number
- Driver identification – gender, age, skin tone, hair color, etc.
- Direction the car was traveling
If you are able, grab your smartphone and take photos or video of the car as it drives away. You may be able to capture details on video that you won’t remember later. Whether you are able to get your phone out in time or not, you should write down everything you can remember as soon as possible. Even the smallest of details may be able to help law enforcement locate the hit-and-run driver.
2. Find Witnesses
Look around the area of the accident for anyone who might have seen the event. Other drivers, pedestrians, people in nearby homes or businesses, or anyone else who may have noticed details of the accident that you didn’t. Someone may have taken pictures or videos of the scene that could provide you with valuable evidence for your legal claim.
If there are witnesses, be sure to jot down what they report seeing and get their contact information. This step is crucial because your lawyer may want to ask them for information about the accident and what they say may increase your chances of receiving compensation.
3. Check for Any Video Footage
If your accident took place near businesses or at an intersection, there may be video footage of it and the other driver fleeing. Check with businesses in the area to see if they have cameras and with local authorities to see if traffic cameras were in use around the area of the accident. You may be able to identify the car that fled, even if the accident wasn’t caught on tape.
4. Call the Police and Make an Accident Report
It’s important to have an official record of your accident even when the other driver has fled. Give the responding officer all the details you have and have collected about the accident, the car, and the other driver so that the officer can create an official report of the incident.
5. Seek Medical Treatment
Of course, seeking medical treatment should be done immediately if you have suffered serious injury. In the event that you are not seriously hurt, you should still seek medical treatment and have an evaluation done by a physician. There are many car accident injuries that may not present until later. Having doctor’s records will provide you with official documentation of injuries that resulted from the accident.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
Pennsylvania car accident lawyer, Rand Spear, can help you with an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit regarding your hit-and-run car accident. Contact his office at 215-985-2424 for a free evaluation of your case and advice on how to proceed.
Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney Rand Spear
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved. This article is not to be considered advise, only the execution of the contingency agreement with this law firm will constitute an attorney-client relationship. The contents of this article are for general information only. If you would like to pursue a claim, please contact an attorney immediately to discuss your specific facts and circumstances regarding your claim. Some cases accepted by this law firm may be referred to or worked on by other lawyers, depending on the area of practice and specifics of a particular case.