Witnessing a hit-and-run can be very upsetting. In fact, witnessing any accident is very upsetting. As a car accident lawyer, we wanted to tell people, if you witness a hit-and-run, report it. We know that it is not always easy to get all of the evidence you need, and that is okay. However, gathering as much information from a hit-and-run accident is important. Below are some tips on how to report a hit-and-run. Whether you are involved in the accident or it happened in front of you, the following steps can and will help. If you are suffering from injuries due to a hit-and-run, contact a car accident attorney in our office. Consultations are free!
Car Accident Lawyer | Reporting a Hit-and-Run
Reporting a hit-and-run can be daunting. Especially if you are in the car that is hit. First thing is first, try to remain calm so that you are able to gather the information that you need for the police.
Call the Police
After the accident, immediately contact the police and report the hit-and-run. You eventually will need a copy of the police report for your insurance records. However, if you or someone needs immediate medical attention, call for an ambulance as well. If the accident was a minor incident, the police may not show up to take a report. Therefore, you may need to file a report at the police station.
If there are other people on the road or side walk who may have seen the accident and can identify your car, get as much information from them as possible. Ask what they saw. For example, a witness might have seen the make, model, color, and license plate number. Take down the contact information for witnesses. Some witnesses may have to testify or talk to your insurer or car accident lawyer. If necessary, stop into any nearby businesses to see if anyone saw anything or if there are cameras on the building.
You may or may not have caught a glimpse of the driver and the car they were in. Do not worry if you didn’t. However, if you did try to get as much information as possible. This includes the following:
- make and model
- license plate number
- description of the driver
- direction the driver was headed in
Once you or anyone else is able to gather all of the information, write down any memory you have of the accident. If you were in the car that was hit, document what happened. Try give as many details as possible. Even if you do not have much information, try to gather the following:
- date and time of the accident
- any damage to the car
- any damage to you or anyone else
As with any accident, pictures are always helpful. Not only do they show the damage to the car, but they can show any injuries that were sustained. If you are hiring a car accident attorney, pictures will be extremely helpful in your case. Your pictures will also show your insurer that you were hit by another car. Some people will an object like a tree or a garbage can and then blame it on a hit-and-run. However, if you take a close-up picture, you can actually prove that you were hit by another car.
If you or any passengers in your car were injured, make sure to take pictures of all of your injuries as well. These will be extremely helpful for your car accident lawyer when we are putting your case together. If you have been seeking medical treatment, make sure you are keeping track of bills and records. Your car accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys will gather this information for you, but it is always a smart idea to gather these records for yourself as well.
Check Security Footage
If someone hit your car while you were in a store and they do not leave contact information, ask if the store has security footage. Nowadays, most stores and shopping complexes have security cameras aimed at their parking lot. Ideally, if you see any damage right away, you will want to go inside and speak with someone who will allow you to look at the footage. On the other hand, if you were in the vehicle at the time and you were hurt, ask someone else to stop into the nearby businesses and ask about security footage.
Most businesses are more than happy to help. Especially if someone is suffering from injuries.
File a Driver Report
If the police do not come to the scene of the accident, you can create an official report on your own. In California, you can fill out a “driver report.” You can either do this directly on the DMV website or you can visit the police station in person. If the police are not able to make it to the scene, ask the police what you should fill out if they won’t come out and take a report.
Filing a Claim
The next thing you want to do is file a claim with your insurance company. First, make sure your insurance company will cover the damage. Your car accident attorney will help you determine this. Because you do not know the driver’s insurance information, we will check to make sure that your insurance company will cover the costs of a hit-and-run.
Collision coverage usually covers damage due to a hit-and-run accident. Its main purpose is to pay for any damage caused when your car hits another object. On the other hand, you may have uninsured motorist property damage coverage that will help pay for repairs. However, not all states cover it. In California, we have collision coverage that will take care of damages.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney if you are Injured!
If you have been injured in an accident, contact us to discuss your case. You should never think that you do not have a case just because it was a hit-and-run. If you are seriously injured, contact a car accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys. We have no problem going up against insurance companies that will not work with you. Never be afraid to reach out to our office if you need assistance.