You might be struck by another vehicle while driving or as a pedestrian. If the other driver leaves, you have been involved in a hit-and-run car accident.
The damage may be light, but still necessitates an insurance claim. A hit-and-run accident can cause extensive damage to your vehicle and even put you in the hospital with serious injuries.
Whatever the extent of damages and injuries, it is important to stay calm immediately following a hit-and-run. Unless you need immediate medical care, you should stay at the scene and talk to the police when they arrive. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run, it is important to file a police report as soon as possible, preferably at the site of the accident.
File an Auto Insurance Claim
After talking to the police, you should contact your auto insurer to file an insurance claim. A hit-and-run driver is treated as an uninsured motorist, so it is important to have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy.
Without uninsured motorist coverage, you could be liable for damages to your vehicle. If you have collision coverage, your insurer might approve a claim to repair your vehicle, but you likely would have to pay the deductible.
If you do not have collision coverage, then only an uninsured motorist policy would cover the costs of damages. It also could help to pay any of your medical costs.
What Counts as a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run accident happens whenever a motorist who is unidentified causes an accident and leaves the scene. Offending drivers might be unaware that they caused an accident, but leaving the scene still makes them liable for a hit-and-run.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is a hit-and-run accident for about every minute in the day on average in the United States. The offending driver is often aware of causing an accident and flees for potentially many reasons. A drunk driver might panic and leave the scene to avoid prosecution. The effect of alcohol on judgment as well as driving ability adds to the potential for a drunk driver to flee the scene of an accident.
Help the Police Find the Hit-and-Run Motorist
When struck by a hit-and-run driver, any description that you might provide to the police will help to apprehend the offending driver later. Even something as simple as gender, race, hair color could help to identify the offending motorist.
- Provide a description of the offending vehicle, its direction of travel, and approximate speed. If you can get the license plate number, that could help the police to locate the vehicle.
- Obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the hit-and-run.
- Police can also check local security cameras or other video cameras that might have recorded the accident.
- Do not try to chase after the offending motorist, since you do not know if the other driver might be armed or otherwise dangerous.
- Stay at the scene of the accident. Leaving for any reason other than to obtain medical care could cause you legal trouble for fleeing the scene of an accident.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Can Help You Explore Your Legal Options After a Hit-and-Run Collision
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, our experienced Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm can help. You can call 609-926-3300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.