If you’re involved in an accident and the other car takes off, known as a hit and run, it might be tempting to try to run after them – either in your vehicle, or on foot if you’ve already gotten out of your vehicle – but that’s never a good idea. If you leave the scene of an accident, you’re no better than they are and could be held responsible for fleeing the scene. By doing so, you also leave your vehicle and belongings at the mercy of passersby.
Get A Good Look At The Other Car
What you should do instead is try to get a good look at the car as it drives off and try to commit to memory as many identifying features as you can, including the make, model, and license plate number. Even if you can only remember part of the license plate number, that, combined with a description of the car, should be enough for the police to identify the driver, especially if the other vehicle was damaged badly enough that it needs to be taken to an auto repair shop.
For that reason, noting any damage done to the vehicle as a result of the hit-and-run accident is also a good idea. Even scrapes and minor damage from previous incidents, such as a dent in one door or a scrape on one side smeared with green can be used to help identify the driver after the incident. Also note which direction the vehicle was heading and relay that to the police when they arrive.
Stay at The Scene, But Out of The Way of Traffic
In the meantime, you should immediately take photos of the accident and the damage to your car. The police will probably take their own photos for the accident report when they get there, but your insurance agent might want photos, so be sure to get your own.
Once that’s done, make sure you stay at or near the scene of the accident. If your vehicle is blocking traffic and you are still able to drive it, move it off to the side of the road or a parking lot where you will be out of everyone’s way.
Call The Police
Call the police if someone has not done so already. Wait for them to arrive, then complete the accident report, including any details of the other vehicle you managed to catch. If there were any witnesses to the incident, ask them to provide statements to the police as well.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Finally, call your insurance agent as soon as possible to report the accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance will usually help pay for the damages your car suffered from the hit-and-run driver, depending on the state. In that case, your insurance coverage acts the same way it would if someone without insurance (or without enough insurance to cover the cost of the damages) hit your vehicle and was unable to pay the damages. In fact, many hit-and-run drivers flee the scene of an accident precisely because they don’t have insurance and they don’t want to get caught illegally driving without the proper vehicle insurance.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.