One moment you are driving. Next, you are dealing with pain, disorientation, and panic from a hit-and-run accident.
Knowing what to do after a hit-and-run accident won’t just help you take care of your health, and it can improve your chances of recovering sizable compensation. Each step you take after the crash is important, and the key to getting everything right is remaining calm and getting professional assistance.
If you or your loved one have been injured in a hit-and-run accident? Reach out to a car accident lawyer for expert guidance, protecting your rights and increasing your chances of obtaining rightful compensation.
Let’s look at what you need to do after a hit-and-run accident.
Assess Your Injuries and Call for Help
After any accident, take care of your health. Take the time to consider how injured you are. Since adrenaline masks pain, you may not immediately understand your injuries’ extent. That’s why it’s important not to move around too much and seek help immediately.
Even if you think that your injuries are minor, call 911 anyway. The police need to assess, record, and report the accident. This can help find the negligent driver and allow you to recover compensation.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Depending on your insurance company, you can notify them about the accident over the phone or online. Either way, you need to do it within a set period. Some companies want the accident reported within 24 hours, and others may give you 30 days to do it.
Check your insurance documents to find out how much time you have. The rule of thumb is to notify the insurance provider immediately.
In a hit-and-run accident, you can receive compensation from your insurance company if you have:
- Collision insurance covers the damage to your vehicle.
- Uninsured motorist coverage covers medical bills for you and your passengers (in some states, drivers need to carry uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage. However, it doesn’t always work in hit-and-run accidents).
- MedPay covers medical bills in some states, including Maine and New Hampshire.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can cover medical bills for you and your passengers, lost income, and other related costs in no-fault states like Florida.
If the police don’t find the at-fault driver, you may need to rely on several types of insurance to obtain compensation. All of these policies may have deductions and limitations. For example, the PIP policy covers up to 80 percent of accident-related medical expenses in Florida.
Speak To an Attorney
Even if the police find the hit-and-run driver quickly, you must prove your right to damage recovery. Doing this without legal assistance can be complicated. While it may seem that hit-and-run accidents are straightforward, they rarely are.
You can still have difficulty proving that the at-fault driver owes you a sizable amount. In some cases, you may even need to go to trial.
A car accident attorney can:
- Investigate the case. They return to the accident scene, collect all the evidence the police may have missed, subpoena camera footage (if any), speak to eyewitnesses, and much more.
- File all documents on time. Personal injury cases require substantial paperwork. An attorney can ensure you do everything on time and avoid errors that can delay the case.
- Build a strong case. You would need to make a strong case to recover all the money you deserve. An attorney can help present the case in the most efficient way possible.
- Negotiate. Many hit-and-run cases don’t go to trial because attorneys manage to negotiate a fair settlement. This can save you time and money while reducing the stress you experience. Skillful personal injury lawyers can conduct these negotiations effectively to maximize the settlement and minimize wasted time.
You can recover punitive damages in hit-and-run accidents besides economic and non-economic damages. The judge may punish that bad actor for acting extremely negligent on the road.
You need to collect and present relevant evidence to maximize your chances of recovering these damages. A personal injury attorney can help you do it.
Obtaining Compensation After Hit-And-Run Accident
Knowing what to do after a hit-and-run accident can save you time and money while minimizing effort and stress. Working with a personal injury attorney is the key to obtaining compensation after the crash.
Without legal assistance, making mistakes that may prevent you from getting the money you deserve is easy. Once you take care of your injuries, consider speaking to a legal professional.
Many reliable personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations. Take advantage of this opportunity to plan your next steps.