Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
Hit and run motor vehicle crashes in California can leave you and/or your loved one in a precarious physical and financial position. While one may be able to have some medical bills and other expenses paid for through their own insurer (depending on coverage and the contract with the insurer), the ability to recover a monetary judgment that adequately addresses all of the economic and noneconomic losses is illusive. Even with uninsured motorist coverage, unless there is evidence of actual contact with the vehicle of the at-fault driver in a hit and run crash, you may not be able to obtain full compensation. If we can ID the driver, we can also go after that driver’s insurance and/or assets.
What to do After a Hit-and-Run
The steps taken in the seconds and minutes following a hit-and-run accident are critical in determining the ability to locate the at-fault driver. Health and safety should remain of primary concern, just as it should be after any car wreck, and emergency medical assistance and/or arrangements to obtain medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible is the first order of action. However, one should also:
Make Notes of Your Observations
Do not hesitate to write down or otherwise record or memorialize the details of the crash as soon as possible. Include as many details about the car that struck you and the driver of that car as possible. In your description, attempt to answer questions such as:
- The make, model, condition, and color of the vehicle (and approximate year, if you have reason to know);
- The license plate on the vehicle. Even if you can only remember a portion of the license plate number and/or the state of issuance of the plate, this can help police and other law enforcement agencies better identify the vehicle and driver;
- A description of the driver and others in the other vehicle(i.e., was the driver male or female, hairstyle, glasses, approximate age, clothing, etc.);
- The direction of travel of the at-fault vehicle when leaving the scene; and/or
- Any other details.
Once you have recorded your memories, turn them over to law enforcement officers investigating your crash and/or your attorney as soon as possible. The likelihood of finding the at-fault driver increase dramatically the sooner law enforcement officers are able to begin looking for him or her. But even without being able to prosecute that driver, uninsured motorist coverage may be available. Do not give up.
Turn to Heiting & Irwin for Help with Your Hit and Run Case
Heiting & Irwin is available to step into your hit and run case right away. Once we do, we will go to work immediately attempting to locate the at-fault driver so that you stand the greatest chance of recovering full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses. As soon as you can, contact Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400 or online and meet with us in a free initial consultation to discuss your path forward.