Auto accidents of any kind are stressful. A hit-and-run accident can leave you feeling especially disoriented and vulnerable. If you suffer property damage, personal injuries, or both, you must know how to respond appropriately.
Taking the correct actions helps ensure that you don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve. It also protects you from financial “ripple effects” that can threaten your financial stability.
What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run is where someone knowingly causes an accident but leaves the scene without providing information about themselves or rendering aid to others involved. It typically is a misdemeanor crime to flee the scene of an accident. If someone was injured, authorities may charge a hit-and-run driver with a felony.
The collision protection in your auto insurance policy may cover damage to your vehicle. And if you have uninsured motor vehicle coverage, it can pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and damages to your car if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or the police never find them.
What To Do and Not To Do Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you should contact the police immediately.
Never attempt to follow a fleeing hit-and-run driver. Chasing the other driver also puts you at risk of another accident or a dangerous confrontation with that person.
Instead of focusing on the other driver, promptly write down information about the accident, including:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- A description of how the vehicles collided
- The other driver’s license plate number, if you saw it
- The vehicle’s make, model, and color
- A description of any damage you observed on the other vehicle
- The road and direction the other driver used to flee the scene
In addition, you should ask witnesses if they would be willing to give a statement to you or the police. If they agree to share what they saw, be sure to write down their contact information. It’s also helpful to take photos of your vehicle damage.
After you’ve handled those tasks, it’s vital to contact an auto accident attorney. You may also need to speak with a personal injury lawyer if you were hurt in the accident.
The point is to get expert advice about how to proceed following a hit-and-run accident. Accident victims get tremendous relief from knowing they have an experienced advocate on their side who will look out for their best interests.
Medical Expense Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you’re hurt in a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to understand how your state addresses compensation for medical expenses. Florida is a “no-fault” state. That means each driver’s insurance pays for their losses. You simply file a claim and stay in touch with your insurance company to get your medical bills paid.
That money is separate from the compensation your personal injury lawyer can help you obtain.
Protect Yourself or a Loved One by Knowing Who to Call
Knowing how to respond is essential if you, a friend, or a family member is the victim of a hit-and-run driver. Our skilled and experienced attorneys at Ginnis & Krathen can guide you through your interactions with the police, your insurance company, and others. We help ensure you’re treated fairly and get the compensation you deserve.