People often ask us for tips on how to best handle situations in the aftermath of different types of accidents and mishaps. One of the most common questions we get asked about is what to do after you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident where the other person hit you and took off before you could get the license plate number.
Hit-and-run accident victims often will panic or get very angry – understandable immediate responses, but in either case letting their emotions get the better of them. Their emotions then cloud their judgement as to what are appropriate vs. inappropriate courses of actions to take at that critical time.
As with any accident, you must thoroughly document the hit and run accident for both the police and your insurance company. So you must get control of your emotions so that you can rationally replay the accident in your mind, from beginning to end. Of course it becomes a lot harder to do when the other driver has left the scene – and left you to deal with the aftermath alone.
Here is a step-by-step guide of what you should do if you are ever the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, or anywhere else in Florida:
- Get as much information as possible, including:
- The time, location, description and cause of the accident
- The license plate number, if possible
- The other vehicle’s make, model and color – if you noticed anything unique about the vehicle, make sure to note that, as well
- Photos of all of the damage to your car
- Description of damage to the other vehicle, as accurately and as thoroughly as possible
- Which direction the other car was headed – both at the time of the accident, and which direction it took off in
- If anyone witnessed the accident and is still present, ask them if they can provide additional information and/or a statement – for both you and the police. Be sure to get their names and contact information.
… and here are two things NOT TO DO:
- DO NOT try to follow the other driver. Obviously this could put you in a compromising and potentially dangerous situation if you ever catch the person. Just as importantly, it can cause the police to question who was at fault.
- In addition, you will most likely miss out on getting any eyewitness accounts to support your story
- DO NOT wait to call either the police or your insurance company to report the accident, and then to make a claim. Call both immediately! The police accident report will not only help you when you make your accident claim with your insurance company, but it can also help the police in finding the person who caused the accident.
To learn more about what to do in hit and run and other accident situations, see more at: https://learningcenter.statefarm.com/auto/safety/what-to-do-after-a-hit-and-run/index.html?cmpid=enews-dec15
If you are in an auto or motorcycle accident where the other driver hit-and-ran, you may have a right to bring a claim for various damages and injuries you incurred. Call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400.
At Slinkman, Slinkman, & Wynne, we know that hit-and-run car accidents unfortunately happen. If you are in an accident because of the willful negligence of another driver then you need to contact us right away. We help our clients obtain payment to cover hospital and other medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more, if the situation warrants it.
If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an auto accident, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/auto-accident/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.