Dos and Don’ts After a Hit and Run Accident
Any accident can ruin your day. But a hit and run accident can be scary and maddening. Normally, after a car accident, you exchange information with all parties involved. If you were involved in a hit and run accident, then you are on your own. You might be left with a lot of frustration and a lot of questions.
A few weeks ago a teenager was fatally hit by a motorist in Las Vegas. The motorist did not stop to help or report the crash. The woman who fled the scene said she was scared to report the crash.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one or more hit and run crashes happen every minute in America. There were 2,049 fatal hit and run accidents in 2016. The AAA also reported that almost 65% of people killed in hit and run crashes were cyclists or pedestrians.
Whether you were a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist, there are important steps to take to ensure you protect yourself legally, medically and financially. We look at what to do and what not to do after a hit and run accident.
As we examine why hit and run accidents happen, we want to ensure that you know about our free case analysis services here at Anthem Injury Lawyers. Our knowledgeable attorneys specialize in gaining maximum compensation for our car accident clients. We serve Las Vegas and vicinity. Don’t wait – get the compensation that’s due you. Call us now to schedule your free consultation: (702) 857-6000.
Why Hit and Run Accidents Happen
A hit and run accident is when a driver hits another motorist, a bicyclist or a pedestrian and flees the accident scene. Sometimes, the driver who hits you gives their information, but later you find out the information was false. This is another type of hit and run accident. Either way, these actions can be frustrating for the person who was hit or injured. Why do people leave the scene without giving proper identification or offering help?
- They are not in the right state of mind: under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- They don’t have a valid driver’s license. Maybe they are driving on a suspended license, or they don’t have a license at all.
- They don’t have car insurance. These types of drivers are classified as an uninsured motorist (UM).
- They are involved in some type of illegal activity and are afraid of getting caught. For example, maybe they are transporting illegal goods.
- They are driving a stolen vehicle.
- They have an outstanding arrest warrant.
- They are driving a vehicle owned by their work and are afraid they might lose their job.
Dos After a Hit and Run Accident
Do Pull Over
If you are in a car, pull over to the side of the road where you are out of harm’s way. If you were on your bike, walk your bike over to the sidewalk. If you were a pedestrian who was hit by a car, find a safe place where you can wait for help.
Do Call 911
If you were injured while in your vehicle, on your bike, or just crossing the street, you’ll want to seek help right away. Sometimes injuries don’t show up until later on. For example, you might not notice neck or back pain until days later. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately so that you can get the proper care you need. This is also crucial to receiving compensation for your medical bills.
Do Record as Much as You Can
If you are able, take pictures of everything you can. Photograph your injuries. Take pictures of any damage to your car or bike from multiple angles. Try to capture the accident scene. Capture the weather or road conditions. Make note of the cross streets and what direction the driver was traveling. Write down everything you can remember while it is fresh in your mind. You might even be able to remember the make or color of the car that hit you or some or all of the license plate number.
If your car was damaged when you weren’t there, take similar steps as if you were present. Finding your car damaged, like a broken windshield or signs of vandalism, is frustrating. Document as much as you can by taking pictures of the damage and the area around the car. Ask people nearby, like shop owners or neighbors, if they saw anything. Any bits of information can help with your insurance claim.
Do Make A Report
Filing an accident report makes pursuing legal action much easier. If you don’t contact the police, your insurance company could drag out the claims process.
Do Gather Witnesses
Witnesses are helpful in any accident case. But especially in the case of a hit and run, witnesses can assist in backing up your version of the accident. Write down their stories and get their contact information. Maybe a witness wrote down the license plate number of the car that hit you. A license plate number can make it a lot easier to file an insurance claim, although it is not necessary.
Do Contact Your Insurance Company
Depending on the type of car insurance you have, you could be covered. However, insurance policies are tricky and they vary. Especially if you don’t have the culprit’s license plate number, ensuring coverage can be a challenge. Hiring an experienced accident lawyer can help you navigate the insurance claims process.
Don’ts After a Hit and Run Accident
Don’t Go After the Culprit
Leave it to the authorities to take proper recourse. Don’t chase down or try to apprehend the suspect.
Don’t Wait to Call the Police or Your Insurance Company
The official accident report is a crucial part in filing your insurance claim. The police report also helps law enforcement track down the culprit.
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
Leaving the accident scene could hurt your chances of filing a claim, receiving any compensation, or getting any justice for what happened.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been in a hit and run accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights. Our car accident lawyers are experienced at handling all types of car accidents. These accidents include: large trucks or SUVs, accidents involving motorcyclists and bicyclists, and accidents where there was a driver who was driving under the influence/with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Sometimes people are unsure if they need an attorney, or if a car accident attorney can really make a difference in receiving compensation. We recommend getting in touch with us right away (702-857-6000). Our Las Vegas car accident lawyers offer you a much better chance to receive the compensation you deserve, versus you trying to handle your case on your own.. It’s okay to inform yourself with some data from the Internet—but getting individualized legal advice is always best. Well-meaning friends may tell you that a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas is too expensive. However, we work on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to worry about affordability. With our extensive car accident case experience, you have the best chance for a positive outcome for your case. Remember: when it comes to seeking maximum compensation, you’ll want to put your case in the hands of the experts: Anthem Injury Lawyers, serving Las Vegas and vicinity. Call us today for a free case analysis: (702) 857-6000. Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley. As a car accident victim, getting back to health should be your first priority: let our lawyers go to work for you and get you the compensation you deserve. Should you need us to, we can come to you. Call us today if you’ve been the victim in a car accident in the Las Vegas area.