What Do I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

March 5, 2024 | By Polito & Harrington LLC
What Do I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

When another driver in a car accident flees the scene, it adds another layer of complexity and uncertainty to an already difficult situation. A hit and run accident can leave you feeling helpless and wondering what steps to take next. The law gives you important rights to seek compensation and legal relief, but you should take certain steps to protect those rights. If you are in this unfortunate situation, remember that you are not alone, and do not have to determine what to do without guidance. An experienced car accident lawyer in your area is ready to handle the legal process and seek justice for you. While hit and run accident claims might not be as straightforward as other car accident cases, victims still have options for financial recovery with the right legal support. Contact a Norwich car accident attorney today to learn more.

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Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Medical Attention

The first and most important step after a hit and run accident is to prioritize your health and well-being. Even if you believe you haven't sustained any serious injuries, seek immediate medical attention. Adrenaline can mask pain and symptoms, and some injuries may not immediately appear. Visit a healthcare professional who can assess your condition and provide necessary treatment. Not only will this help you recover physically, but it will also establish an official record of your injuries, which you need when seeking compensation later.

Report the Accident to the Police

After seeking medical attention, your next step should be to report the hit and run accident to the police if it wasn’t already. Contact the local law enforcement agency as soon as possible and provide them with all the details of the incident. This includes information about the location, time, and any identifying details about the other vehicle involved. Cooperate fully with the police and provide them with any evidence or witness statements you may have. Any information might help the police locate the driver who fled the scene. The police report will also serve as an official record of the accident and can support your case when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.
Insurance companies are primarily focused on minimizing their own financial liabilities. After a hit and run accident, you may feel tempted to contact your insurance company immediately. However, you should refrain from doing so until you have legal representation. Insurance adjusters may try to take advantage of the situation and pressure you into settling for a lower compensation amount than you deserve. By consulting a car accident lawyer first, you protect yourself against hurting your claim or settling for too little.

Consult a Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accident LawyerInsurance companies do not make hit and run accident claims easy. Consulting a car accident lawyer who has handled hit and run cases ensures the best possible outcome for your situation. A car accident lawyer will identify the best sources of compensation to cover your losses, whether or not the police locate the driver. They will handle every step of the process to seek coverage of your losses from the available insurance policies.

Options for Compensation

Recovering compensation after a hit and run accident can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Your options for compensation will depend on whether the police can locate the driver who fled the scene and whether they have insurance.

If the Police Find the Driver and They Have Insurance

If the police locate the hit and run driver and they have insurance, you can file a claim with their insurance company. In such cases, your car accident lawyer will work with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other damages.

If the Police Do Not Find the Driver OR the Driver Does Not Have Insurance

Unfortunately, not all hit and run accidents result in the police apprehending the responsible party. Even if the police find the driver, they might not have insurance, as many drivers flee because they are not in compliance with financial responsibility laws. In such situations, you may need to explore other avenues for compensation. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, this is generally the avenue for compensation. UM policies treat unknown hit and run drivers like uninsured drivers, but you still must demonstrate that driver was at fault for the coverage to apply. This is where a car accident attorney comes in.

Why You Want a Car Accident Lawyer for an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Insurance companies can be difficult, even when it comes to uninsured motorist claims by their own policyholders. They may try to downplay your injuries, dispute liability, or offer inadequate settlements. Without a lawyer, you may face a serious disadvantage when going up against your insurance provider. Even your own insurer can try to trip you up and use statements against you to minimize your settlement. This is why you want an attorney to handle all communications from the very start of the claim process. Your lawyer will determine how much you deserve and negotiate for a fair settlement. If you do not receive a favorable offer, they might even take your insurance company to court.

Never Wait to Seek Help from a Local Car Accident Attorney

Norwich Car Accident Attorney Humbert Polito
Humbert J. Polito, Norwich Car Accident Attorney
After a hit and run accident, time is of the essence. The sooner you seek legal help from a car accident attorney, the better your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Delays in reaching out to a lawyer can adversely affect the gathering of evidence and may weaken your case. The right car accident lawyer is ready to fight for your rights and guide you through the legal process. They understand how challenging hit and run cases are and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you need to move forward. Seek a free case evaluation today and relieve your stress.