Being involved in a hit-and-run accident is the worst part of anyone’s day. In a typical car crash, there are two people and two insurances involved. Information is exchanged, and evidence is collected. With a hit-and-run, however, you don’t have the same level of information on both parties, and evidence can be trickier to locate and collect.
If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a hit-and-run incident, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts for your case.
1. DO Check Yourself for Injuries
Your safety, health, and wellness are always the first priority, so immediately after a hit and run, the best thing you can do first is to assess yourself physically. Oftentimes injuries, like whiplash, related to car crashes don’t show up for a few hours, days, or even weeks, but taking a moment to look over yourself and others in your vehicle is of utmost importance. If injuries are present, it’s important to seek out medical care right away.
2. DON’T Follow the Fleeing Driver
It’s never worth it to chase after a driver if they’ve hit your vehicle and then fled the scene. You could be putting you and others’ at risk, so it’s important to stay where you are, where the collision occurred. This also means you can properly document damages to you and your car, as well as be able to pinpoint exactly where the crash occurred for police reports and evidence collection. Staying where you are can also make it a little easier to gather evidence you will need later for your claim.
3. DO Take Pictures & Gather Witness Testimonies
Once you’ve assessed your body and found no serious injury, now is the time to take pictures of your car and see if anyone was around to witness what happened. Oftentimes, hit-and-run incidents happen very quickly, but even the most basic details can be helpful.
Details to look out for on the car that hit you:
- Vehicle make and model
- Partial or full license plate number
- State on the license plate
- Damages caused to both vehicles
- Which direction the car went after the collision
- Location and time the collision occurred
Other details that help your case include eye-witness testimonies (as well as their contact info) and dash cam footage you or others might have gotten that can help identify the driver. The more information you can collect, the better off you’ll be and the stronger your case is.
4. DO Call the Police
When you contact the proper authorities in a timely manner, police can most effectively look for the missing driver, leading to you getting better compensation for what happened to you and your vehicle. Having a police report also helps strengthen your case, and limits the loopholes your insurance company can jump through to lower your compensation or reject your claim.
Police are also trained to collect evidence, and they have many avenues in which to help collect said evidence needed for your case.
5. DON’T Wait to Contact Authorities
The sooner you contact the authorities, the better your chances are of being able to find out the identity of the driver at fault. Witness accounts are more accurate right after crashes happen, and oftentimes surveillance footage isn’t stored for long periods of time, so early contact with police is best.
6. DO Seek Medical Attention
Because it takes a while for our adrenaline to chill out after an incident, injuries can take some time to fully crop up, but sometimes they are apparent right away. If you are injured, you should always seek out medical attention after a crash.
It’s important to have official documentation of your injuries after a hit and run so you can receive proper compensation.
If the culprit in your hit-and-run is able to be identified, then we can use that information, along with other things like witness accounts, surveillance footage, police reports, and crash recreation to prove liability on their part. That also means that once liability is proven, you have a right to make a claim against the person’s insurance rather than all of the expenses being on you and your insurance policy.
7. DO Seek Legal Representation
When no defendant is found in a hit-and-run case, you are left with the benefits under your own insurance company. SPOILER: they aren’t usually on your side, or they don’t support and fight for you the way they said they would.
Having a personal injury attorney handle your claim helps you in many different ways. If you are struggling to collect evidence, hiring a Personal Injury Attorney who understands the laws here in Utah saves you stress and time in the long run. Navigating this process can feel impossible, especially if you’re unsure of where to start, but as personal injury attorneys, it’s our job to ensure that we can gather proper surveillance footage, compile police reports, as well as any other documentation that helps build your case. That way, you can focus on the most important thing, getting better.
As part of our job, we communicate with insurance companies on a regular basis, and our expertise can save you a world of headache and confusion. We’ll be there with you every step of the way to ensure you have the proper documentation needed to get the compensation you deserve, rather than having to just deal with whatever happens because you’re unsure of how to handle the situation on your own.
Ultimately, getting the right personal injury lawyer will take the guesswork out of your case and claim.
If you work with an attorney from the get-go after a hit and run, you ensure that the your case will be taken seriously and you increase your ability to receive necessary compensation to cover your expenses from the crash. Insurance companies are far more likely to respect your claims when an attorney is involved, and many studies indicate that with an attorney, you can receive up to three and half times the compensation you would have gotten on your own.
Your expenses after a hit-and-run can stack up, especially if you’re seriously injured. Injuries lead to medical bills, from chiropractic care, to massage, to imaging and to physical therapy. Time at the doctor’s can take you away from your job, leading to a loss of income. All this can snowball and become really stressful. With an attorney by your side, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the compensation you deserve, and so you can focus on getting and feeling better. Your well-being and health deserve your care and attention. You need to be able to focus on making your medical decisions, which is why we put our sole focus on the legal aspects of your case and claim.
At Johnson Livingston, we are here to fight for you, to provide quality legal counsel and support, to communicate with you from beginning to end, and to come prepared with the necessary documentation and evidence to accurately and authentically represent your case. No matter how large or small your case is, it’s our job to provide the highest quality of guidance so you know the right steps to take at the right time throughout your case.
If you have been in a hit-and-run accident and are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney who cares about you, contact Utah’s Best Personal Injury Attorneys , Johnson Livingston today at (801) 948-9670.