Being involved in a car accident is stressful enough, even when the two parties exchange insurance information.
Hit and run accidents are somewhat more common than you could think. Evidence suggests the number of hit and run incidents are rising.
As per a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the amount of fatal crashes from hit and runs is on the rise. In 2011, the last year the NHSTA gathered data, the number rose to almost 1500.
Overall, crashes decreased by 2006 to 2011, but deadly hit and runs improved by nearly 14%. In some places of the nation, hit and runs are more prevalent than others. For instance, in certain regions of California, around half of all recorded accidents involve a driver who fled the scene.
I’VE BEEN IN A HIT AND RUN? NOW WHAT?
Usually, once we’ve been in an accident, we check to make sure everyone is fine, call emergency services if necessary, and start the claims process by exchanging insurance information. Together with hit and run accidents, the procedure isn’t too straightforward.
Immediately after a hit and run accident, your body will be experiencing a lot of emotions: stress about getting your vehicle repaired and anger at the driver who fled the scene. But maintaining your cool is one the most important things you can do at a hit and run situation. Possessing a clear head increases your chances of catching the perpetrator, as well as providing your insurance company all the information they will need to complete your claim.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
In the minutes right after the accident, gather up to Information concerning the driver as you can, including make, model, and color of the vehicle he or she was driving. Obviously, obtaining a license plate is greatest, but it can be hard to glean out of a speeding car. Relay as much information as possible to the police officer.
Look about for witnesses and gather their contact information — names, numbers, and email addresses. They might become important to your situation and you ought to include them with your accounts.
Before leaving the crash scene, take images, of both the place and the damage to your car. You can request that the authorities add these to their report, and they will be useful to your insurance company.
FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
Because You don’t have the other driver’s insurance Information, you are going to need to reevaluate your underinsured or uninsured portion of your vehicle policy. Most states have required minimums for coverage, but your insurance provider may recommend more. Check with your insurance company for exact policy requirements. Keep in mind you are going to have to pay the deductible for the cost of repairs, unless the perpetrator is caught.
In many municipalities throughout the United States, a Policer officer is only going to report to an crash scene if there have been injuries. If you are involved in a hit and run in one of these regions, you are going to need to come down to the police station to file a report. Don’t neglect this step, even in the event that you believe the chances of locating the other driver are slim. Provide as many details as possible to help law enforcement. Even if they don’t catch the perpetrator, having a police report on file will assist you with your insurance claim.
Drivers can flee the scene of an accident for a number of reasons — because they were drunk, they did not have insurance, or they were simply immature. While none of this is fair to you, you can still take measures to help bring about a speedy resolution to your claim.