In the heart-stopping moments following a hit-and-run, the adrenaline rush and confusion can make it difficult to think clearly. The immediate aftermath of such an incident is often a whirlwind of emotions, from shock and fear to anger and frustration. However, amidst this chaos, it’s crucial to remain calm and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and well-being.
In this blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the top actions to take after such an incident.
Ensure Personal Safety
ValuePenguin’s data from 2012 to 2021 reveals a concerning trend in fatal hit-and-run incidents. The number of such incidents increased sevenfold year over year by 89.4%, from 1,469 cases in 2012 to a staggering 2,783 in 2021. Over these ten years, a total of 19,522 fatal hit-and-runs occurred in the United States.
The data indicates the significance of safety on the road. However, in such an incident, the foremost priority is ensuring personal safety.
Immediately following a collision, moving to a safe location away from oncoming traffic is crucial. Activate hazard lights and, if possible, deploy warning triangles to alert approaching vehicles. It minimizes the risk of further injury and contributes to creating a secure environment for assessing the situation. This proactive step is vital in the chaotic aftermath of a collision.
Contact Law Enforcement
Reporting a hit-and-run to the police is essential on multiple fronts. It kick-starts an investigation, enabling the collection of crucial evidence to locate the fleeing driver. The official police report generated is indispensable for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings. Also, this documentation, outlining the time, location, and circumstances, safeguards your rights, ensuring accountability for the at-fault driver’s actions.
Investopedia reported that many states mandate a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) report after any accident, irrespective of fault. The reporting requirement often depends on a property damage threshold distinguishing accidents requiring reporting from “fender-benders.”
In New York, incidents causing at least $1,000 in property damage or involving injuries/kills necessitate DMV reporting within ten days of the mishap.
The data shows timely police involvement enhances public safety and bolsters investigations, improving the likelihood of holding the fleeing party accountable.
Seek Medical Attention
A hit-and-run incident can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. Even if you don’t feel any immediate pain, seeking medical attention is crucial after such an incident. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not manifest immediately. Also, the stress and anxiety of the event can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and muscle tension.
Seeking medical attention after an accident, even without apparent injuries, is crucial for various reasons. It helps rule out hidden injuries that may not immediately manifest symptoms. Medical records become valuable documentation for potential legal claims, ensuring a comprehensive record of injuries. Prompt attention allows for appropriate treatment, aiding healing and minimizing complications.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurer, provide detailed information about the mishap, and follow their guidance on initiating the claims procedure. Early communication establishes a clear record of the incident, facilitating a smoother claims process.
There are several reasons why timely notification of a vehicle accident to your insurance company is crucial:
- It initiates an insurance claim, allowing for evaluation and potential compensation even when the at-fault driver remains unidentified.
- Your insurance company becomes your advocate in pursuing compensation and navigating legal proceedings.
- Reporting promptly ensures compliance with policy requirements, preserving your coverage and the ability to recover damages.
Time reported that in 2019, one in eight drivers, accounting for 12.6 percent, lacked insurance, as per a 2021 Insurance Research Council study. This significant percentage is one of the reasons for the low filing of hit-and-run claim cases. The study underscores the importance of being prepared for such scenarios given the higher likelihood than commonly perceived.
Consult a Local Car Accident Attorney
After a hit-and-run, consulting a local car accident attorney is crucial for safeguarding your legal interests and navigating the complexities. A seasoned attorney possesses the expertise to guide you through the legal intricacies surrounding these cases specific to your locality.
4029 News reported that the Rogers Police Department and Rogers Fire/EMS responded to a two-car accident in November 2021. The collision killed a passenger at the scene, and the driver passed away at the Hospital. The teenager in the other car sustained only minor injuries.
In such an incident, understanding local laws and regulations becomes paramount. A lawyer with a focus on car accidents in the Rogers area can provide valuable insights tailored to your jurisdiction. Local attorneys bring expertise in procedures, court systems, and case precedents, offering a strategic advantage in legal actions and insurance negotiations.
Before selecting a Rogers car accident lawyer, consider their experience in handling such cases, particularly in the context of Rogers. Past client reviews, success rates, and a focus on personal injury law are key factors to evaluate. A skilled local attorney is an essential ally, providing crucial support in legal matters and tirelessly working to secure deserved compensation.
If you’re involved in a Rogers, Arkansas, car accident, Keith Law Group states you can seek compensation through three avenues:
- File a claim with your insurance company.
- Initiate a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
- Consider a personal injury suit against the responsible party in civil court.
Document the Scene
Swift and thorough documentation of the scene is paramount for a successful resolution after a hit-and-run. Use your smartphone or camera to capture clear photos of the damaged vehicles, any visible injuries, and the overall scene. Take note of street signs, traffic signals, and weather conditions, as these details may become crucial during investigations or insurance claims.
Accurate documentation is a powerful tool in reconstructing the events surrounding the incident. It not only aids law enforcement but also reinforces your account when dealing with insurance companies or potential legal proceedings. Remember, the more comprehensive your documentation, the stronger your position in seeking justice and fair compensation.
Explore Surveillance Footage
In the digital age, surveillance cameras are omnipresent and can play a pivotal role in accidental investigations. After a collision, take the initiative to identify nearby surveillance cameras and request footage from nearby businesses or residences.
Surveillance footage can provide critical evidence, capturing the sequence of events and potentially revealing key details about the hit-and-run vehicle. Promptly obtaining and preserving this footage significantly enhances the chances of solving the case and holding the responsible party accountable.
In conclusion, dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run demands a strategic and informed approach to navigating the complex web of emotions, legalities, and logistics. This article has outlined the top priorities to empower individuals in the critical moments following an incident. Each step discussed above contributes to a comprehensive and effective response.
Remember, your actions in the immediate aftermath can shape the trajectory of the investigation and subsequent proceedings. In times of uncertainty, your greatest ally is knowledge. Stay informed, stay proactive, and use this guide as a roadmap to navigate the aftermath of such incidents with resilience and clarity.