What Do You Do if You’re a Victim of a Hit and Run?
Getting into any kind of car accident is extremely stressful. But when you’re in a hit and run, it can be that much more traumatic because you don’t know who it was that is responsible for your accident. Who do you bring a lawsuit against? Will you be able to claim any compensation for your injuries?
Whether you were in a hit and run as a pedestrian or as a driver in another car, there are crucial steps to take to ensure that you have the best chance possible of winning your case.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
If you are seriously injured in a hit and run accident, someone needs to call the police right away. You also have to get to the hospital to treat your injuries, get an ambulance or ask a loved one who is nearby to drive you there right away.
If you are not seriously injured, still call local law enforcement first thing. Don’t follow the driver who is fleeing the scene, even if you think you can catch up to them. You need to stay on the scene and possibly gather witness statements and take photos of your car and your injuries. If you can get a picture of the driver’s license plate, that could be very helpful. If you don’t get a picture, at least immediately write down what you remember about the car including the color, make, model, license plate number (even if partial) and where it was headed. If you saw the driver, note his/her description as well. You also have to call your insurance company reasonably quickly and note when, where and what time the accident happened.
Once you do all that, then you should go to the doctor or hospital. Don’t wait to go – ideally, you should head there as soon as you are finished collecting information on the incident and talking to the police. The longer you wait to go to the hospital, the weaker your case will be, because the insurance company may try to claim that your injury did not occur because of the car accident.
If your insurance company calls you to ask you extensive details about the accident, cooperate while being cautious with what you say. If another insurance company calls, get all the information you can and try to get the ID of the other driver. Do not share any of your information with them at that time. You will be doing that soon enough; but this is not the time to settle.
Even if it seems like enough, you don’t know how your injuries will manifest in the long run, and you may need thousands of dollars to cover them, and then there are your lost wages and your general damages including pain and suffering. It’s always best to call a hit and run lawyer instead so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Who Do You Sue for a Hit and Run Accident?
Police may be able to use surveillance and traffic cameras as well as eyewitness statements to track down the hit and run driver. Then, you could bring a claim or lawsuit against the driver’s insurance. If they don’t have insurance, you could look to collect compensation from the driver, though that may difficult.
If you can’t figure out who the driver was, then you still have the option to pursue a settlement with your insurance company. You would make an underinsured motorist or uninsured motorist claim through your insurance. For this type of claim you should still get a lawyer and start treatment for your injuries.
After you go to the hospital, your doctor will recommend evaluation and/or treatment, which could include appointments with specialists and orders for different medical tests like X-rays and MRIs. You may have to take prescription medicine, as well. In order to ensure that you heal from your accident, and to make your case as strong as possible, you must follow your doctor’s orders.
Reaching Out to a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you with your hit and run case. They will ask you for details of the case, collect any evidence they can, such as footage from security cameras and help you pursue a claim or lawsuit to get you damages from your accident, even if the driver cannot be located.
Plus, personal injury lawyers will only charge you when they reach a settlement. There is no retainer required. Simply hand over all the information you have on the accident and they will be in touch with questions and handle the rest. With an experienced personal injury lawyer negotiating on your behalf, you can focus on getting better and hopefully get a settlement to cover your costs.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you’re ready to pursue your personal injury claim from your hit and run accident, then call the attorneys at Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400, or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. We can talk with you about the facts of your hit and run case and get you the compensation you deserve.