If you have been involved in a car crash, the sight of a hit-and-run driver speeding off without stopping is sure to make you upset and frustrated. But the immediate aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is a time to keep your wits about you, particularly if anyone in your vehicle has been injured.
There are certain steps you should take if you’ve been hit by a hit-and-run driver. If you have significant injuries, you’ll find that having a knowledgeable car accident lawyer guide you through the claims process can ease your stress and uncertainty.
Here’s what to do after a hit-and-run accident:
Attempt To Identify the At-fault Driver
If by chance you saw the vehicle’s license plate number or even part of it, write it down or record it on your phone via text or voice as soon as you can. If you can describe the make, model, or color of the vehicle, you should record that, too.
You should not chase a hit-and-run driver or make any effort to physically detain a person trying to leave an accident scene. In most cases, having the license plate number is enough for police to locate the car owner.
Check Your Well Being and Others After a Car Accident
Assess whether you have been injured in the crash and, if so, how badly. Then check on the condition of others if you can. If anyone needs emergency medical attention, phone 911 and request an ambulance for each injured person.
If you need medical care, do as you are directed by EMTs or paramedics. If they suggest that you should go to the emergency room, allow them to transport you. If you do not go to the hospital from the accident scene, it is important to see a doctor within 24 hours of the crash for a medical evaluation.
Call Police to Report a Car Accident
When you phone 911 to report a car accident, the dispatcher will send the police. North Carolina law requires anyone in a car accident that causes injury to remain at the scene of the accident until police indicate that you may leave.
The Police will request your name, driver’s license, and insurance card, and will ask what happened. Cooperate with police and answer questions truthfully, but don’t say anything to cast blame upon yourself.
Document The Accident Scene
If you are able, take photos of your vehicle’s damage and any other damage caused by the accident. Take photos of your injuries and the injuries of any passengers in your vehicle.
If there were witnesses to the accident, get their contact information and write it down or record it on your phone.
Uninsured Motorist Claim Covers Losses Caused by a Hit and Run Driver
If the hit-and-run driver is not located, you will need to rely on your uninsured motorist insurance to pay a hit-and-run accident claim. The State of North Carolina requires vehicle owners to have uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance provides coverage for accidents caused by hit-and-run drivers.
The required minimum amounts of auto liability coverage are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $60,000 for bodily injury to two or more people
- $25,000 for property damage.
If the hit-and-run driver is identified, you would file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance – if the driver has insurance. If not, your uninsured motorist policy provides coverage.
Contact an Experienced Raleigh Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
Let a hit-and-run accident attorney guide you through the claims process and handle your personal injury claim. At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our personal injury attorneys will work to recover every bit of compensation available by law. Contact us now online or at 919-661-9000 for a free initial consultation about your claim.