A car accident is one of the worst experiences you can have in Tennessee, and if the accident is a hit-and-run, it’s that much worse. There are certain steps you should take if you are hit by a driver who takes off.
What should you avoid doing immediately after a hit-and-run incident?
Although some people involved in car accidents with hit-and-run drivers might find it tempting to follow those drivers, this is something you should avoid doing. There are a few problems with that: You could potentially get into another accident, especially if you’re injured or rattled. You might also run the risk of a dangerous situation such as a road rage incident. Finally, you could be charged with a hit and run yourself if you flee the scene of the accident. This can happen even with the other driver fleeing.
What steps should you take after a hit-and-run crash?
Car accidents involving hit-and-run drivers can be confusing and scary, but you should stay at the scene. If your car can still move, steer it off to the side of the road to safety and out of the way of traffic. If that’s not possible, get out if you’re able to and go to a safe spot.
Call 911 immediately. You should have the police arrive at the scene any time there’s an injury or property damage as a result of a car accident. Talk to the police officer about the police report and ask how to obtain a copy. Get the officer’s name and badge number.
Take photos of the scene and your vehicle to show evidence of the accident. You should also look around for witnesses and get their names and contact information. Have them write their statements down or record them discussing it with your phone.
Write down as much as you can recall about the vehicle that hit you and the driver if you saw them. Jot down the make and model, the color of the car, and any license plate numbers you might have seen. Even if it’s only a partial number, it can be helpful.
Get medical attention even if you feel fine. You may be injured and not feel symptoms of the injury until hours, days or even weeks later.
Car accidents involving hit-and-run drivers should be reported to insurance companies immediately. Call your insurance company and let them know you’ve been in an accident and need to file a claim. Your own underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage should be able to cover damages. If the at-fault driver can’t be located, you might have to use your own health insurance to cover your medical expenses.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents happen. When you take the above steps, you can mitigate the damage.