5 things to do after experiencing a hit-and-run crash
Car crashes are a lot like snowflakes: no two are perfectly the same. While both occur during “inclement conditions” – the latter related to weather, the former a combination of human error and traffic circumstances – they can lead to side effects that extend beyond their immediate sphere.
But they’re also similar in that they vary in significance, and as far as crashes are concerned, few are more consequential – or potentially life altering – than hit-and-run events. Hit-and-run crashes are more common than you might believe. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 1 in 10 crashes reported to police involve drivers who left the scene. What’s more, an estimated 1,500 people are killed each year in hit-and-run incidents, with 14,914 killed between 1994 and 2003.
“11% of crashes reported to police are hit and run in nature.”
These events are also often responsible for pedestrian deaths. In 2015, roughly 20 percent of individuals killed while walking or running on road surfaces were by motorists who fled in the immediate aftermath, based on data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
Jeff Bert, area commanding officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, noted that hit-and-run crashes can be difficult to solve because there’s often little evidence to work with, a reality which can be devastating for the families of people who were killed or severely injured.
“For families, for loved ones, for people who have lost the most precious thing in their life and then to have the department not be able to solve it, it must be maddening,” Bert told National Public Radio.
Most individuals who are victimized by hit-and-run survive, but that still doesn’t prevent motorists from abrogating their responsibility. Hopefully, this ordeal never happens to you, but there are several things you can do to increase the chances that justice is done:
1. Jot down their information
Fleeing drivers will try to make for a quick getaway, but if you’re car is struck, take mental or (ideally) written note of anything and everything that’s identifiable, such as the make and model of the car, the license plate, the vehicle’s color or anything else that’s distinguishing. You’ll also want to determine the direction the motorist went in.
2. Contact police
Traffic enforcement should always be informed after a crash, but it’s particularly important when there’s been a hit and run. The police are better equipped with the resource that can help track down the person responsible and recover from your losses, whether they only affected the car or also resulted in injury.
3. Make a personal health assessment
Your health and well-being are of course first and foremost and you’ll no doubt feel the aftereffects. However, your injuries may take a day, week or several weeks to materialize. Thus, depending on the severity of your injuries, get in touch with a doctor immediately or at the very least have your physician or primary care provider on standby so you can inform him or her about your symptoms as they happen. Your PCP should be able to determine if the injury resulted from the crash. For example, whiplash is a common car accident injury, but often doesn’t present itself until later on.
4. Look for witnesses
Depending on the time of day that the crash occurred, you may be able to rely on witnesses who observed what happened. First-hand accounts can be indispensable assets both for police as well as accident attorneys, who you might want to consider consulting with to see if you can be compensated for your medical bills.
5. Check your insurance policy
Of course, the insurer that covers your vehicle should be informed of what occurred as the policy you have can also help defray some of the costs associated with the hit and run. Many states require motorists to carry uninsured motorists auto insurance, which as the name suggests, pays for repairs and medical services when those at fault don’t have insurance. But the problem is not all states require this type of policy. Furthermore, in some states, UM insurance doesn’t include hit-and-run events.
Hit-and-run cases can be solved when there’s plenty of information to go off of. However, the discovery process takes money. Global Financial can provide you with the resources you need to hire an attorney with a cash advance. There are no credit checks and no fees if you lose your case.