Hit and run accidents can be a harrowing experience when you’re on the receiving end, and they may be more prevalent than ever. Recent statistics show that an average of 682,000 hit and run collisions have occurred on the roads since 2006, the number of deaths has risen each year since 2009, and the majority of those killed are pedestrians and cyclists. In other words, this is a common enough occurrence to want to stay prepared and know exactly what to do should it happen to you.
First and foremost, you’ll want to stay calm, as losing your cool is rarely beneficial in an emergency scenario. Beyond that, though, there are some tips you should keep in mind about the best course of action to take when faced with an incident. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Pull Over Safely And Call 911
While your immediate instinct might be to pursue a hit and run driver, it’s ill-advised (as it will muddy the waters as to who is at fault for the incident), and you have more pressing matters to attend to. You’ll need to pull over safely and summon emergency medical services if you or any of your vehicle’s occupants have been injured. You’ll also need to call the police on the scene so you can file a report.
Find Witnesses And Gather Evidence
It’s important to document the scene so that your insurance company has ample proof of what happened during the incident. You’ll want to take photos of the damage to your vehicle, along with the area where the accident occurred. You’ll also want to write down everything you can about the incident in vivid detail, so that you can recount it later when asked to relay your version of events.
In addition to this, see if you can find any witnesses to what occurred, getting their contact information and seeing if they can corroborate your story of the accident.
Next Up: Insurance And Lawyers
After everyone is safe and you’ve thoroughly documented what happened, you’ll need to get in touch with your insurance company and file a claim. If you have insurance against hit and run incidents, they’ll be able to guide you through the next steps of the process.
Additionally, in particularly nasty incidents, it might be helpful to seek out legal representation so that you are properly compensated for damages and injuries. Pedestrian accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers know how to navigate these waters well, so consider giving one a call to learn more about what you should do next.