Being involved in a hit and run accident can leave you feeling a mixture of emotions. You're upset that you've been involved in an accident, angry that the person has driven off, and scared regarding what it means for your insurance. It's time to settle those emotions and figure out the next steps to take after a hit and run accident.
First: Get as Much Information as You Can
The first step is to collect all the information that you can. When the incident took place with you in the car, try to note down the make, model and color of the vehicle. If you can, get the license plate number, which could mean a quick snap with your phone's camera if it is available.
When it involves your stationary car and the driver fails to leave contact information, you'll need to find out if there were any witnesses. It's also worth checking to see if there are any cameras in the area with a view of the incident.
You'll also need the time and any witness details. All this bits of information will help your insurance company decide which steps to take and the police identify the driver of the other car.
Second: Report the Damage to the Police
Regardless of the damage, file the incident with the police. This will give you a report number for dealing with your insurance company. If the accident is serious, call 911 and ask for the police to come to you.
Some insurance companies will require the report number to make a claim. This is because a hit and run is a legal offense and not just a civil one. In some states, you have 24 hours to file the report from when you first learned of the accident.
Third: Contact Your Insurance Company
Finally, get in touch with your insurance company. If you have taken the previous steps, the company should pay out under the uninsured motorist section of your policy if you have it. If not, it may be paid out through the collision coverage if you have that. If you only have comprehensive and liability coverage, you may have to write the damage off as a loss.
It is possible that the incident will lead to an increase in your insurance rates. This will depend on your insurance company and how the accident occurred.
Don't leave the scene without taking the initial steps. Your insurance company will usually need as many details as possible, and you will need to file a police report when involved in a hit and run accident. Visit websites like cookevilleinjurylaw.net for more information about your options.