It’s only human nature to panic when you find yourself in a car accident. Unfortunately, this is a common experience and can be particularly traumatic for victims of hit-and-runs.
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The first thing to do after being in a hit-and-run is to stay calm and take deep breaths. The emotions of shock, fear and anger can easily overwhelm you if you are not in control of them.
Call the police immediately (even if no one was injured). Notifying the authorities right away will help you get the attention of law enforcement and may help them find the driver who harmed you.
Make detailed notes about the crash.
The details of the accident, including how it happened and what you were doing at the time will help police determine who was at fault. In addition, the notes can be helpful if you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
Write down the license plate number, vehicle make and model and any distinguishing features such as bumper stickers or damage to the body of the car. If you can, take a photo of the license plate as well, and also try to get a picture of the driver.
Obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
It is not uncommon for people who are unharmed to provide a different perspective on the incident than the victim does, so obtaining the names and contact information of any witnesses will be helpful.
If you can, locate a nearby store or business and ask employees if they saw the collision. Many stores and businesses have surveillance cameras, so you may be able to get video footage of the accident, which will provide more details for police.
Keep your eyes and ears open for any other vehicles that might be in the area, especially other cars that you have noticed have a similar color or pattern to the vehicle that struck you. This could be a clue as to the identity of the hit-and-run driver, or at least the make of the vehicle that might have caused the collision.
Collect the contact information of any other passengers who might have witnessed the incident or seen the vehicle that hit you flee the scene. This can include passengers from other cars or pedestrians who might have been in the area at the time of the accident.
Taking pictures of the accident scene is important for documenting the damage and injuries you sustained. You might also want to document the weather conditions and any other circumstances that may have contributed to the accident, including whether there were any pedestrians around at the time.
Notifying your insurance provider is important if you believe you have suffered damages as a result of a hit-and-run. Getting your insurance company on board with your case will allow them to help you recover the damages you are owed for any medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses you have incurred.