Being the victim of a hit and run can be a very stressful and costly situation. In a normal collision, all parties involved stop and exchange information in order to be reasonable in placing the fault where it lies. A hit and run is when another person causes damage to your vehicle and then immediately flees the scene, leaving you to care for any damage on your own. Follow these steps to handle the situation the best way possible.
Call for help.
The first thing you should do after getting into a collision is to call 911 if you are injured or call the police to the scene to investigate, if you are not injured. The quicker you call, the quicker they can help you if you are injured. Even if the damage isn’t severe, call the police so that you can file a police report. It is possible that they might be able to catch the person that hit you if you give them enough information.
Collect as much information as possible.
Be alert as possible to your surroundings after you have been hit. The more information you have, the more the authorities can help you and potentially find the person that hit you. Information to gather: their license plate number, the make, model, color, and approximate year of the car, any description of the driver you know, the time that the collision took place, the location of the collision, and the context. Take picture of any damage to your body or your car for reference. Witnesses are a great resource, so if you see anyone near you, get their contact information.
Stay at the location.
Staying at the location of the collision gives first responders and emergency vehicles the best context for what happened. Only move your car if it is causing danger to you or others or if it is blocking an intersection or road. The damage caused by a collision might be more severe than it looks, so moving your car might damage your car more or even harm you. If you decide that it is best to move your car, move it to the side of the road as close to the scene of the collision as possible.
Contact your insurance company.
It is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the claim. Insurance claims can take a long time to process so you want to get the process started. Insurance companies also want the most accurate information, so giving them information quickly after the incident will do that as well. Your insurance company will want just as much information, if not more, than the emergency services. Be prepared to send pictures of the damage to your insurance company as well as any interior damage to make sure your needs are cared for completely.
Be prepared for a car accident by downloading our free car accident response guide (pdf).
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