What to Do After a Hit-and-Run
I’m Ed Smith, an Auburn personal injury lawyer. Hit-and-run crashes are illegal in California and those who drive away from car accidents can face serious legal consequences. The frequency of hit-and-run accidents has grown significantly over the last ten years, and these accident have left many people in California with serious, and even fatal, injuries. Hit-and-runs are common and everybody has some risk of being involved in one when they make use of California roads. Because of this, knowing what to do after a hit-and-run crash is important. Taking the right actions after being involved in a hit-and-run can significantly increase your chances of finding the missing driving driver and holding them responsible for the damage they have caused.
Remember Vehicle Details
If you are able, you should do your best to get as much information as you can about the offending vehicle. Because hit-and-run crashes often happen very quickly, you should know what information to look for and take note of it as soon as you can. Things to note about the offending vehicle include:
- License plate number – This is the most important piece of information you can have and allows authorities to identify the car much more easily.
- Make, model, and color – It can be hard to memorize a license plate number, especially in a stressful situation. However, remembering the specific type of vehicle that struck you can greatly help officers locate it later on.
- Direction – Take note of which way the vehicle goes after the crash.
- Driver traits -If you are able to see the driver of the vehicle, try to remember what details you can about them. Important details to look for include age, sex, and clothing.
- Vehicle damage – If the other vehicle received damage in the collision, remember where the vehicle was damaged. This information can help police to easily identify the missing car.
Call the Police
While reporting any accident to the authorities is normally a good idea, calling the police after a hit-and-run is especially important. Not only will police be able to send medics to the accident site to tend to any injured parties, but the sooner that officers are notified about the crash, the higher the chance is that they will be able to find the missing driver.
Take Photos and Talk to Witnesses
If you have a camera or your phone on you, taking photos of the accident site can help with investigations. Make sure to photograph tire marks, roadway damage, pieces of debris left from the missing car, damage done to your vehicle, and photos of your injuries if you have sustained any.
If there are any, make sure to talk with witnesses of the crash. Ask for their contact information so that they can confirm what they saw to courts and insurance adjusters if necessary. If the accident happened in a residential or commercial area, people inside nearby buildings may have also seen the crash. Asking around at nearby buildings may give you an important eye-witness account.
Call Your Insurance Company and Contact a Lawyer
Report the crash to your insurance company as soon as you can. If the offending driver cannot be found, your insurance policy should cover your injury expenses and may pay for other losses as well.
Contacting a lawyer is also important. An experienced car accident lawyer will know the best way to respond to your particular case and can help you obtain the money that you need to pay for medical expenses and other damages. An attorney will also be able to assist in finding the hit-and-run driver. However, the sooner you call, the more effective your lawyer can be.
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Auburn Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Auburn personal injury lawyer. Injuries suffered in a crash can be serious. If an auto accident has left you with severe trauma, reach me at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly case advice. I am also available on AutoAccident.com.
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