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Automotive

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

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In some parts of the country, it’s hard to get around without a car. You might live somewhere with few sidewalks, and you must drive to get to work, school, or to run errands. If you’re a skilled driver and obey all traffic laws, you can usually avoid accidents.

Sometimes, though, a car might strike your vehicle, regardless of what you do. These incidents can traumatize you, but hopefully, you’ll get through the experience without major physical or phycological damage.

In some instances, the car that strikes your vehicle will drive away before the police and medical personnel arrive. These hit-and-run incidents are problematic, and you might not know what to do after one of them. We’ll talk about that right now.

Get Off the Road

Hit-and-run drivers cause about 25% of Florida accidents, and you’ll see comparable numbers in many other states. Think about that for a moment: one in four motorists drive away rather than waiting for the authorities to arrive.

Why do they do this? Many times, they don’t have insurance. Other occasions, an intoxicated driver might flee the scene. Maybe they consumed alcohol or illegal drugs before getting behind the wheel, and they know the cops will detect this when they show up.

No matter why the other driver flees the scene, though, you should first try to get off the road following a collision. You can try to steer your car to the curb or off the road entirely if you can do that. If there’s a parking lot nearby, that might work.

However, you can’t get your car off the road if the crash injured you or your car no longer functions. If the other driver totaled your vehicle, you likely can’t move it.

If you can’t get your car off the road, get your registration and proof of insurance from the glove compartment, assuming you have them in there. Then, get out of the car and off the road to wait for the authorities.

Call the Police and Paramedics

You’ll want to call the police at this point. If you have a smartphone on you, you can contact 911 with no delays. You can tell the operator you speak to what happened, and you should mention the other car drove away after hitting you. 

You can tell the operator the car’s make, model, and color, if you happened to notice them. You can also mention the license plate number if you caught it.

If you’re hurt, tell the 911 operator to send an ambulance as well. If you had anyone in the vehicle with you, and the crash injured them, the ambulance can come for them instead.

Tell the Police What Happened

If the cops show up, and you’re not hurt, tell them what occurred. You can answer any of their questions, including giving them your name and your license plate number. You can show them your driver’s license, the car’s registration, and your insurance information.

The cops might try to apprehend the other driver before they can get out of the area. If the other driver is nowhere close by, the police will take steps to find them. They might use your vehicle description or the car’s license plate number if you got it.

The police can arrest someone for fleeing an accident scene, and if the other driver flees, that makes them look guilty. That will count against them in the aftermath if you’re trying to recoup money from them you have to spend on doctor bills or to fix your vehicle damage.

If you’re hurt, you’ll have to take an ambulance to the hospital. If so, you can’t give the police a statement at the crash site. You can give it to them later at the hospital when you’re feeling better, and the doctors determine you’re not in danger.

Call a Tow Truck

If you’re not hurt, you can call a tow truck and get the driver to pick up your car once you give the police your statement. If your car isn’t badly damaged, you can skip this step and drive it away.

However, maybe you think your car’s okay, but it starts experiencing problems when you try to drive it. If so, you’ll want to get it to a mechanic who can check it out. Once you deal with your car, you can call your insurance company and tell them what happened. That way, you can start a claim with them.

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