7 Things to Do After a Hit-And-Run in Philadelphia
Any car accident is stressful, but our Philadelphia car accident lawyers understand the circumstances that cause a hit-and-run accident to be particularly angering and frustrating. Not only have you been injured and sustained property damage through no fault of your own, but you don’t even know who’s responsible in order to seek recourse. Fortunately, if you follow some simple steps in the wake of a hit-and-run accident, you can increase the chances of police catching the culprit and help your insurance company make a good decision regarding your damage claims.
When you’ve been injured by a hit-and-run driver, it can be tempting to give in to your emotions. However, remaining calm in this stressful situation is key to helping you take back control of the situation. Take a deep breath. As calmly as you can, get to work to set things right.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Seek medical attention immediately after a hit-and-run car accident. Depending on the nature of the accident, your injuries may be apparent right away or they could surface later. To have a strong case for claiming damages with an insurance company or in court, you want to show that you sought out medical treatment for your injuries right away, even if your injuries aren’t immediately apparent.
Start by gathering information – as much of it as you can. Write down as much about the car that hit you as you can remember, as soon as possible. Our memories start to fade or become fuzzy quickly in events such as a hit-and-run, so don’t rely on yourself to remember details later.
Jot down a description of the car that hit you, including the color, type of vehicle, make and model, and the car’s license plate number. If you got a look at the driver, include that as well.
CALL THE POLICE
Once you’ve written down all the important identifying information you remember, call the police. Wait for an officer to arrive, and don’t leave the scene of the accident. Also, ask witnesses to remain on the scene if they can. When the police officer arrives, tell him or her everything you remember and share the identifying information about the other driver that you were able to write down. The more details you can give the police, the more helpful it will be in tracking down the hit-and-run driver. Police reports are also useful evidence later on as you navigate insurance claims.
TALK TO WITNESSES
Hopefully, there are other people who also witnessed the accident. Ask witnesses what they saw; they may have seen something you didn’t that could help identify the driver. Get their contact information as well. Again, ask them to stay until the police arrive so they can go on record with the details that they remember.
CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE
Notify your insurance company about the hit-and-run accident as soon as you can. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage – which is a good idea, even though it’s not required by Pennsylvania law – it may cover damages for injury and/or property damage for a hit-and-run. Consider contacting an experienced Philadelphia accident attorney if the insurance company is unwilling to work with you.
IF YOU FIND THE CULPRIT
If police can track down the person who hit you, you have more options. Once you know who’s responsible for the accident, you can file a claim with the hit-and-run driver’s insurance company. You may sue him or her for personal injury and property damages in court if the driver did not have appropriate coverage.