What to Do After Getting Injured by a Hit-and-Run Driver
When you’re involved in a car accident and another driver leaves the scene, it’s called a hit-and-run. The most common scenario is that someone is injured and the other driver doesn’t stop to offer help or identify themselves.
Hit-and-run drivers can face criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident, which could include jail time, fines, license suspension, and community service. They can also be sued in civil court for money damages related to your injuries and losses.
After getting injured by a hit-and-run driver, make sure anyone else involved is out of harm’s way and call 911, if necessary. Then, it is time to think about steps you can take to protect your own rights.
What to Do Immediately After a Hit-and-Run
Hurt by a hit-and-run? These car accidents can be dangerous and leave you with devastating injuries. Here are some of the first steps you shouldn’t miss when the other driver leaves the scene of the crash:
- Move to Safety – Never follow a hit-and-run driver because it’s a risk to your personal safety. Instead, get to a safe place and call the police so they can begin searching for the driver and write their report.
- Write Down Important Details – Take note of which direction the hit-and-run driver was going and try to recall the color, make, and model of the vehicle. If possible, try to recall the license plate number, the state the plate is registered to, and what the driver looked like.
- Find Witnesses – Look for passersby or patrons of nearby businesses who may have seen what happened. Get permission to contact them later so they can provide you with information about what they saw.
- Get Photos and Video – Take pictures of vehicle damage, your injuries, and the accident scene. Also, check to see if there are any surveillance cameras in the area so you can get check the video footage later.
The Claims Process
California law requires at-fault drivers to pay for damages they cause in an accident, typically through their liability car insurance. But if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver, you can’t get compensation from them unless you find out who they are.
Your options may be limited, but there are several ways you can be compensated for your medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering, including:
- Your own collision insurance
- Your uninsured motorist coverage (UIM)
- Finding the at-fault driver and bringing a lawsuit against them
Seek Help from a Car Accident Lawyer
Hit-and-run is a serious crime. Being a victim of a hit-and-run is upsetting, but knowing what to do after getting injured by a hit-and-run driver makes a huge difference. The Crowell Law Offices can help ensure your needs are met, whether that means getting financial support for your damages from an insurer or seeking legal recourse from the other driver.
We’d be happy to walk you through the next steps and help ensure that you’re making the right decisions as you move forward, starting with a free consultation. Reach out for your consultation by calling 916-303-2800 or by filling out the following online contact form.