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Silverthorne Attorneys is a personal injury law firm in Orange County whose top priority and singular focus is the people we represent. We work diligently to make sure that our clients are well taken care of and that their needs are not only met, but come first. Injured now? Do not hesitate to reach out to Silverthorne Attorneys for a free consultation.
What to do After a Hit-and-Run
So, you’ve been hit by someone who fled the scene of the accident and you are suffering from serious injuries. What now? Well, that is exactly what we are here to answer for you. You should never have to worry about how you are going to pay for your treatment or how to fix your vehicle. As an accident lawyer in Orange County, we have seen how hit-and-run accidents affect the lives of our clients. And you deserve to be heard and compensated for your injuries. If you are suffering from injuries due to a hit and run, contact us to discuss your case. Consultations with an auto accident attorney in our office are free!
Accident Lawyer | Hit-and-Run
Before we go into what to do after a hit and run, let’s discuss what a hit-and-run is. A hit and run is defined as an accident where a driver leaves the scene without stopping to identify themselves to the other driver. Essentially, they hit your car and then take off. All in hopes that they will not suffer from the consequences of their actions. However, when you are the victim of a hit and run, the damages can be severe.
Did you know that hit and run in the state of California is a serious crime? And if someone is seriously injured, jail time may be included in the sentence. So, what exactly qualifies as a hit-and-run? Below, we will go over that and more.
What is a Hit-and-Run?
In the state of California, a hit-and-run is defined as a driver who leaves the scene of the accident without providing contact information to the other driver(s). In more serious accidents it can mean leaving the scene of a serious accident before the police come and take a report. For example, if someone rear-ends you on the freeway and then leaves the scene before the police arrive, it is considered a hit-and-run. Drivers are expected to provide what is called “reasonable assistance.” This includes waiting at the scene for the police or if there are serious injuries, waiting for the ambulance.
One very important thing to note is that a hit-and-run is not defined by who is considered the at-fault driver. For example, even if you are not the one responsible for the accident, when you leave the scene without exchanging information with the other driver, you have committed a hit-and-run. Furthermore, if flee the scene after an accident, running will suggest a measure of guilt on your part.
Auto Accident Attorney | After a Hit-and-Run
Now that we have gone over what is considered to be a hit-and-run, now our accident lawyer is going to go over what to do after a hit-and-run. If you are hit by someone who flees the scene the scene of the accident, make sure you and any passengers are safe. Afterwards, if it is possible, try to collect as much information as you can about the other vehicle. This includes but is not limited to the following information:
- Make of the car;
- Model of the car;
- Color of the car;
- Driver’s appearance;
- Details surrounding the accident;
- What lead to the crash and what the conditions the roads were in at the time of the incident, etc.
You want to take down as much information as you can about the vehicle. If you or anyone else is able to get a description of the vehicle along with the license plate number. Likewise, if there are any witnesses to the accident, try to get as much information as you can from them. This will help your auto accident attorney build a case and it will also help the police find the person who fled the scene. Take as many pictures of the scene as possible. This includes pictures of your vehicle, other vehicles that may be involved, injuries sustained at the time of the accident, the scene of the accident, etc. You want to make sure you get as much documentation as possible.
How to File a Hit-and-Run Claim
After you have contacted the proper authorities and the police have filed their report, you then need to contact your insurance company. As auto accident attorneys, we know that people may be hesitant to do so. However, it is very important that you file a claim after any accident. Believe it or not, your insurance premiums will not go up if you are the victim of a hit-and-run. In fact, most insurance companies have UM policies that will cover damages due to a hit-and-run accident. However, this will have to be done through your own insurance. See our article on Why Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Important.
When it comes to filing a claim, make sure that you are honest with the police as well as the insurance company. You never want to leave anything out or fabricate the details of the incident. This is because the insurance companies will have their own investigators looking into the details of the accident. Therefore, if you leave anything out or fabricate any part of the accident, you may end up losing your claim.
Contact Us Today!
After you open a claim with your insurance company, contact us to discuss the details of your case. We may be able to help get you the compensation you need so you can get your life back on track.
Working with an accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys will help you and your family get your life back on track after your accident. You never want to take on your car accident case alone. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to either lowball your settlement or deny your claim altogether.
However, having an experienced auto accident attorney from our office on your side means that you will not be taken advantage of. Every attorney in our office has years of experience dealing with the insurance companies and we are well aware of their bullying tactics. And we never back down when they are trying to take advantage of our clients.
If you have been injured in an accident due to a hit-and-run, please do not hesitate to contract our office. Consultations with an auto accident attorney are free!