Hit and run drivers that do not stop after causing a collision with another vehicle are typically motivated to flee from the accident scene either due to being intoxicated, in a state of panic, or fearing arrest. Whether you are a motorist or pedestrian, hit-and-run accidents can be stressful and frustrating to get through. Treating your injuries while also having to get your vehicle repaired or replaced is expensive, and you don’t have anyone to hold accountable for the incident. If you or a loved one were involved in this type of auto accident, here are seven important tips to follow, as provided by our legal team at Beach Accident Attorneys.
There are thousands of car accidents reported in Orange Country every year. In fact, there were nearly 500 hit-and-run cases were reported in 2020 alone.
After a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you must do is to take note of the vehicle license plate number of the other driver, along with any other descriptive details. While it can be tough to remember everything because of the panic or trauma, every minor detail will help authorities track the culprit.
For example, anything about the other vehicle and/or driver, like the make, model, and color of the vehicle may be helpful. Similarly, knowing the gender, appearance, hair color, etc., may also help narrow down the search for the guilty.
Make sure to document the damage or state of your vehicle at the accident scene. If it is severe damage, taking pictures or shooting a video will definitely help. Do not forget to take pictures of skid marks and debris on the road.
It would also be a good idea to ask the witnesses if someone captured the accident. This will help you prove in the court that the accident was not your fault (only if you did not cause the accident).
Also, if you are able to react quickly enough, try and take pictures and record the fleeing driver. This visual evidence will help the authorities track down the hit-and-run driver.
Another great thing to remember on a personal injury lawyer’s list includes speaking to witnesses and bystanders. If someone saw the accident firsthand, speak to them and request their contact information, so their accord of what happened can be utilized as evidence.
With their permission, you may also record any witnesses talking about the accident and giving statements in your favor. Such testimonies can be really helpful when filing a car insurance claim and speaking to authorities about who was at fault.
Getting in touch with the local Newport Beach police is one of the most important steps. You must call the police and file an official police report about the hit-and-run collision. It does not matter if the accident was a major or a minor one; report it anyway.
Tell the police officers about the accident and provide any information that you can remember about the vehicle and driver. This official accident report can be used to help the police and is useful when filing your insurance claim.
Whether you have sustained any visible injuries or not, seek immediate medical attention, especially if you were hit as a pedestrian or while on your bicycle or motorcycle. Those with less protection can suffer the worst hidden injuries, like TBI (traumatic brain injury) or internal bleeding.
Furthermore, a detailed medical record immediately after your accident may help prove that your injuries and other symptoms are due to a hit-and-run car accident. Even if you are feeling fine, it is always advisable to go see a doctor. This is important because sometimes, the traumas, internal damage, or injuries do not manifest right away. Sometimes, injuries and pains surface a few hours or days after an injury or accident. Therefore, you must see a doctor immediately.
If you have sustained any injuries, the doctor will be able to detect them early and add them to your accident’s medical report. This document will be the proof of your injuries in a court of law. Even a personal injury lawyer will send you to get a thorough medical check-up to ensure that you get the full compensation that you deserve.
Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be eligible to file a claim for personal injuries while the damage to your car can be covered by collision coverage. California requires all drivers to have liability insurance to cover damages caused to other drivers. Therefore, you must ensure to call your insurance company after an accident to report the accident.
Does your insurance cover hit-and-run accidents? Ask the company about your options to get coverage after the hit-and-run accident. Know the applicable insurance policy. Collect all the evidence and forward it to the insurance company to solidify your claim. However, it would be best to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your hit and run claim.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in Newport Beach, California, you must hire a personal injury lawyer right away. An attorney specializing in personal injury law can be a great asset and help you get the rightfully deserved compensation.
Your attorney will also ensure that the court holds the driver at fault accountable, and you get the full compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, suffering, and pain due to the hit-and-run car accident.