A hit and run accident happens when a driver flees the scene of an accident without speaking to the other parties involved or leaving his or her contact and insurance information.
A hit and run accident can involve a situation where a driver believes he “only bumped” a parked car and decides to drive off without leaving a note or it could be more severe such as when a driver strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist and keeps driving without stopping.
Hit and run accidents happen far more than you may think. According to a 2016 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit and run accidents occur every minute in the US, resulting in 2,049 deaths in 2016.
If you are ever involved in a hit and run accident, the first thing you should do, if possible, is to take down the other vehicle’s license plate number. Take a photo if you can or write it down. If you don’t have pen and paper with you, write it on a notepad function on your phone or text it to yourself or a friend.
In addition to the license plate number, you should also try to record:
-the make, model, and color of the other vehicle
-a description of the driver and any passengers
-the location and extent of damage to the other vehicle
-the direction the other vehicle was headed
You should also see if there was anyone in the area who witnessed the accident and ask for their names and contact information.
Do NOT try to chase the other vehicle. This could put you in danger if you tried to confront the other driver yourself and engaging in a car chase would be not only dangerous but illegal. Instead, you should call the police. They may be able to find the other driver before they get too far from the scene of the accident. Even if they are not able to catch up to the other driver, it may be important later that you can document that you did contact the police as soon as possible to report the hit and run. This evidence could be crucial to a personal injury case later.
You can also check with local businesses in the area to see if there were any externals cameras that caught the accident on tape. In the above example from Salem, MA, the driver turned herself in after video of the accident was circulated online.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. Oftentimes adrenaline can mask the extent of your injuries. You will want to be checked out as soon as possible not only for your own well-being, but to also document your injuries.
Finally, you should consider contacting a local personal injury lawyer near you. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Your attorney will be able to help discover the identity of the other driver and may need to file a lawsuit if the other driver denies being involved in the accident. Additionally, if the other driver cannot be identified your personal injury lawyer may be able to obtain compensation for you as part of an uninsured motorist claim.
If you are a family member have been involved in a hit and run accident, or any other type of motor vehicle accident, please schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Call 978-852-0914 for a Free Consultation.