Help! I've Been Hit
Hit and Run Accidents
Help! I've Been Hit
Hit and run accidents occur approximately 1 in every 10 car accidents. If you are ever inside of your car and get struck by a vehicle that flees the scene, a hit a run driver, you should do several things immediately after the accident occurs.
As with any car accident, once you realized that you’ve been hit get your vehicle pull your vehicle over to the nearest safe, clear spot. Once you have pulled over you should assess your medical condition and the medical condition of the other passengers in your car.; if you or anyone else is injured call 911 immediately.
As tempting as it may be resist the urge to chase the driver of the other vehicle. This is very dangerous. Instead you should do these things:
Write Down Everything You Can Remember
Jot down everything you can remember about the vehicle that hit you and the driver of that car. Things you will definitely want to make note of are: license plate number of the vehicle, date and time of the accident, color of vehicle, make and model of vehicle, which direction the driver was headed and whether the car was a late model or newer edition. You will also want to try to remember other details of the car that might make it easy for law enforcement to pinpoint the vehicle in question. Things like whether or not the car in question had any bumper stickers or other distinguishable qualities about it are important to know. You will also want to try to remember details about the driver like whether the driver was male or female, whether he or she appeared to be short or tall and perhaps the driver’s ethnicity and approximate age. Remember that a license plate number alone isn’t sufficient evidence to go forward with a criminal investigation. A witness must be able to positively identify the driver of the car in order for a criminal hit and run investigation to occur.
Its important that you don’t neglect to write these details down. Trying to commit these things to memory may be a harder task then you bargain for. Its best to write this information down to cut down on the chance that details are forgotten or “mis-remembered.”
If no one is hurt and the police haven’t previously been called you should contact the police. Inform the operator that you are the victim of a hit and run. At this time the operator might ask you for additional information. Provide as much information as is asked of you.
Look around and see if there are any witnesses that saw the incident. If at all possible get them to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive so that the police can get their account of the events. If they cannot stay on the scene then try to get some basic information like name, phone number, email etc. from them so that the police can contact them later.
Take as many pictures with your digital camera or camera phone. Include pictures of the damage to your car from various angles. You should also take a wide shot of the street were the accident occurred.
File a Police Report
Once a police officer arrives on the scene you can file a police report. The officer will ask for your license, registration, and insurance. You will want to include all of the details that you wrote down immediately after the accident. You will want to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the accident as well the actual impact. The account you give on your police report will serve as your official account of what happened.
Hit and run accidents are one of those things in life that we all wish to avoid. If you find yourself the victim of a hit and run accident follow these simple suggestions to make the process less complicated.