After a car crash, responsible drivers stop and collect information from each other, report the accident to the police, and call for medical help if necessary. But what happens if the other vehicle drives off?
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 10% of car crashes reported to the police are hit-and-runs. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run car crash, it’s understandable that you would be confused about what to do next and how to recover compensation for your injuries. After all, how do you file a personal injury claim if you don’t know who is responsible for your injuries?
One of the most important things to understand about a hit-and-run crash is that you should treat it much the same as a regular crash. Although there might not be someone for you to identify as the at-fault party, you will still need to prove that you were not at fault and deserve compensation. Contacting an experienced attorney will greatly increase your chances of obtaining compensation for property damages and medical expenses from a crash where the other driver is unidentified.
Keep reading to learn what to do if you’ve been in a hit-and-run car crash.
1. Attempt to Identify the Other Driver
The police are frequently unable to catch hit-and-run drivers. You can increase their chance of finding the driver if you write down information immediately after the crash while the details are still fresh in your mind. It can be beneficial for the police’s investigation if you:
- Write down any details you noticed about the other vehicle, such as color, make, model, or even a partial license plate number.
- Call the police and wait at the scene.
- Ask other drivers or pedestrians if they witnessed the crash and saw anything that could help identify the driver.
- Check local shops for security cameras or additional witnesses.
- Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle.
2. Seek Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
The first thing you should do after an accident is get yourself checked out at a hospital, even if your injuries are minor. Not only is this crucial in terms of your overall health, but seeking medical treatment is an important aspect of your personal injury claim.
RELATED ARTICLE: 3 Reasons You Should Get Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
Visiting a doctor after an accident allows you to document your injuries and demonstrate that you took them seriously. Both are very important in a personal injury case for proving you deserve compensation.
3. Understand How to Recover Damages From a Hit-and-run Crash
In a regular accident, the at-fault party’s insurance will be responsible for paying for the damage to your vehicle and person. But unless you can identify the hit-and-run driver, you’re going to have to go through your own insurance to obtain compensation.
Because North Carolina is an at-fault state, the only way to file with your insurance is through uninsured motorist coverage.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured motorist insurance covers drivers in crashes where the other party does not have any auto insurance. It acts as the uninsured driver’s liability coverage and will cover damages up to policy limits.
Uninsured motorist insurance includes both bodily injury and property damage coverage and is relatively inexpensive. In North Carolina, basic uninsured coverage is included on all insurance policies, meaning you will have at least some coverage to help you after your hit-and-run crash. Additional uninsured coverage can also be purchased.
What Compensation Can I Recover From a Hit-and-run Crash?
As the victim of a crash, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, and any pain and suffering you experienced.
- Economic: Economic damages cover the cost of any current or future expenses that resulted from the crash. These expenses include medical bills, physical therapy costs, car repair bills, or lost wages.
- Non-Economic: Non-economic damages cover the intangible costs of your accident such as pain and suffering. Putting a price on the pain and suffering someone experienced is a very complicated process and typically requires the help of an attorney to estimate accurately.
4. Speak With the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Myers Law Firm
Understanding how you can receive compensation for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run is only the first stage in your damage recovery process. You’ll need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to help navigate the insurance claim process and collect damages throughout the length of the process.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. (2018, April 26). Hit-and-run deaths hit record high [press release]. Retrieved from https://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/aaa-foundation-for-traffic-safety/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.