A hit and run is no laughing matter, as anyone who has been involved in such an accident will attest. A hit and run accident occurs when one driver hits another car, a person, an animal or a piece of property, and flees the scene without waiting for police or exchanging car insurance information. Hit and runs are illegal, what how do you respond if it happens to you?
Insurance Needed After a Hit and Run
When you are involved in a hit and run accident, hopefully the police will be able to identify the perpetrator, in which case you might be able to collect from his car insurance policy. Of course, many hit and run drivers do not stop because they lack insurance, which means that your insurance policy will have to cover the damages or you will have to pay out of pocket.
Most car insurance companies offer underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, which means that they will cover your losses if someone without insurance (or without sufficient insurance) causes damage to your car. In some cases, these coverage options also protect drivers in the event of a hit and run accident.
Unfortunately, you must have the foresight to purchase this coverage before you are involved in a hit and run. Otherwise, if the perpetrator is not caught or if he does not have enough car insurance, you will be stuck with the final bill.
Making Your Case
Although the police should investigate a hit and run accident – and you should not take matters into your own hands – there are a few things you can do to help the process along. First, if you caught the license plate number of the offending vehicle, write it down while it is still fresh in your memory. Record also any physical details you noticed about the car, such as make, model, color, body style and any obvious damage.
If any other motorists stop to render assistance after a hit and run accident, or if any pedestrians witnessed the accident, ask them to provide their testimony to the police. The more eye witnesses you have, the stronger your position.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Contact your car insurance company as soon after a hit and run accident as possible. File a report with the details of the accident and the police report case number for follow-up purposes. If your car insurance company winds up covering your losses, they will need as much information as possible.
A hit and run accident can be devastating, particularly if there are personal injuries, and dealing with your car insurance company (and that of the offender) can get dicey. Just remember to give the facts as they occurred and to document as much as possible, including information about the vehicle that hit you, witness statements and pictures of your own car.
OnlineLawyerSource.com, Hit and Run Car Accident