Getting into any kind of car accident is never a fun situation to deal with at any point in the process. There are many details to consider after any crash, and even more if you are hit and the driver that runs into you fails to stop. This is referred to as a hit-and-run car crash.
Drivers should consider the significant consequences of failing to stop after getting into a car accident. If a driver is convicted of a hit-and-run offense in Georgia, they may face hefty fines, a prison sentence of one to five years, as well as a four-month driver’s license suspension.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a hit-and-run car accident, especially one in which injuries are incurred, it is important to know how to properly handle it. Read on to learn more about the steps you should take to help you receive the compensation you deserve after sustaining injuries in a hit-and-run collision.
HOW TO HANDLE A HIT-AND-RUN CAR ACCIDENT
While it may seem like common sense, don’t go chasing after the driver that hit you. Instead, if possible, take note of the vehicle’s make and model as well as the license plate number. You can provide this information to the police later.
Check for Injuries
Do what you can to check for anyone hurt in the accident. Safety is always a main priority. If anyone has sustained injuries, contact the authorities for emergency medical services right away.
Contact the Authorities
Having a police report will be an important piece of evidence for your claim, so it is a good idea to contact the police as soon as possible after the crash. Even if no one is seriously injured in the wreck, having a police report can help you prove your lack of fault for the incident.
It is critical that you obtain the police report number once the officer has concluded their report. Keep in mind most police reports are unavailable until after 10 days following an incident and must typically be retrieved online using the police report number.
Provide a True Account of the Incident
When the police come to the scene, be sure to explain what happened in the crash as best as you can remember it. Do not speculate about any of the details you may be unsure of. Do not try to make any assumptions, guesses, or inadvertently misstate the facts.
If the police ask whether you are injured but you are unsure, be honest about that with the officer. Oftentimes, injured accident victims are in shock immediately after a crash and are unaware they are injured until hours, days, or even weeks later.
It is in your best interest to take photos of your vehicle as it is if visible damage has been sustained. If your car is in the way of the flow of traffic, do your best to snap a few quick images of it as it is before moving it out of the way. Of course, if this is not possible, take pictures of the damages to your car after moving it.
Obtain Contact Information from Witnesses
If any bystanders witnessed the crash, ask them if they will provide you with their contact information to help prove your case to the insurance company. Having a witness provide their side of the story can be tremendously helpful evidence in a hit-and-run case.
Seek Medical Care
Sustaining injuries in a crash, even if they are minor, always warrants a trip to the doctor’s office for an examination. As stated previously, you may not know you are injured immediately after a crash. Having a medical professional check you out may illuminate injuries you didn’t know you sustained in the accident.
Maintain an Organized File
One of the best things you can do for your case is to keep everything related to the wreck organized and in one place. Having a file with all of your supporting documents can provide the evidence you need for a good defense.
Keep all the following information in your file:
- Claim number
- Claim’s adjuster handling your claim
- Names and phone numbers of all relevant contacts
- Rental car receipts
- Other expenses incurred in the crash
Contact the Insurance Company
While your auto insurance policy may require you to contact your insurance company after getting into a car accident, it is important to keep in mind that you do not have to provide your statement over the phone.
The insurance company may ask you to provide your accident statement over the phone so they can record it and use what you say against you. You are in no way required to do this.
In fact, you may provide your statement to the insurance company in writing, or you may ask your attorney to do it for you. Either way, providing a recorded statement over the phone is often the least favorable option.
HIRE A SKILLED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT YOU
Sustaining injuries in a hit-and-run accident is very serious and should be treated as such. If someone harmed you in a hit-and-run crash, you may still be able to recover compensation for your losses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team right away to learn more about what we can do to help with your case.