Car accidents occur on a daily basis. While many drivers do the responsible thing, some may panic and flee the scene.
If you were involved in a hit and run, it is important to know your duties and options. Understanding and implementing these steps may help you to receive the compensation you seek.
Whether you are in the vehicle during the accident, or you discover property damage after the fact, having proper evidence is essential to any future claims. You should look around for any physical evidence and take pictures of the damages. If there are any witnesses, it is a good idea to collect their information and a statement, if possible. If by chance a witness was able to get the plate number of the other driver, it may be possible to bring charges against him or her, which would solidify the claim.
File a report
Once you get to a safe area, it is imperative to contact law enforcement and file an accident report. This will not only create a paper trail for future reference but will also help to show that you followed proper protocol in accordance with California vehicle code 20002.
Make a claim
Depending upon the factors surrounding the incident, you may have a few different options. If you are able to identify the fleeing driver, it is possible to file a claim with the driver's insurance. If by chance the coverage is not enough, or if you are not able to identify the driver, it is possible to file a claim with your own insurance under your uninsured motorist coverage. Depending upon the plan, this may cover medical expenses and property damage.
This is a simple overview of the steps to take after a hit-and-run accident. If you have been involved in one, it may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to determine the best route for you.