Take These Steps If the Negligent Driver Leaves the Scene of Your Crash
The nightmare of a car accident can increase tenfold if the negligent driver does the unimaginable and flees the scene of the accident—especially if you are injured. Now not only are you an accident victim, but also the victim of a crime. A hit and run accident is one where the driver who has hit another vehicle, pedestrian, or object leaves the scene without stopping to identify himself and helping anyone who has been injured. It is a crime in Washington to leave the scene of an accident. Here is what you should do if you are the victim in one of these crashes.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights to Compensation
Hit and run drivers leave the scene for many reasons. Some are fearful of getting another ticket, which could result in the loss of their driver’s license if they have other tickets. Often, they are driving on a suspended license or do not have the minimum liability insurance required by state law. If a driver flees your crash scene, you should do the following;
Call for help. You should not leave the scene of the accident even if you want to chase the other driver. You should call 911 to get medical help if necessary and report the accident to the police. You should do this even if you do not believe you were injured as you will need a police report at least for your own insurance company. Be certain to let the police know the location of the accident and the direction the other driver was going.
Record information. You need to record as much information as possible that could help the police—and you later—identify the negligent driver. Write down any details you remember, like the license plate number, color of the vehicle, approximate make and year, and any other identifying information regarding the driver or his vehicle. Don’t forget to take pictures of the accident scene and obtain contact information for any witnesses.
Get medical care. Even if you are not certain you suffered injuries, seek medical care. This would help you document injuries that could take days or weeks for you to experience symptoms—such as traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries, or internal bleeding.
Contact your insurance company. You should report the accident to your insurance company. They may pay the property damage part of your claim. In addition, if you purchased uninsured motorist insurance coverage, you could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. This insurance is designed to compensate you if you are involved in a hit and run accident or the other driver has no insurance.
Contact an attorney. An experienced car accident attorney can help you pursue a claim against the driver if he is located and negotiate a settlement with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
If you or a family member was hurt in a hit and run crash, check out our Testimonials to see how we have helped other people like you. Then call us today at 800.636.3676 to schedule a free consultation.