What Is a Hit and Run Accident?

A hit and run accident is any accident in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing contact information.

Examples of hit and run accidents include:

  • A car hits you and speeds off.
  • A driver hits your unattended parked car and leaves no contact information or way of collecting damages.

What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident

While you’ll likely will be feeling stressed if you’re a victim of a hit and run, it will help to stay as calm as possible and gather as much information as you can.

Having more information:

  • Increases the chances that the police will catch the driver who hit you.
  • Helps your car insurance company make decisions about your claim.

First, get as much information as you can about the car that hit you, such as:

  • Model.
  • Make.
  • License plate number.

Also, look around for any possible witnesses to the accident, and ask for their names and contact information.

Finally, take the following steps before leaving the scene:

  • Write down the time and location of the accident.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene.
  • Take pictures of your car, especially if another car’s paint is visible on it.
    • This will help you prove that you are not attempting to defraud your insurance company.*

If the hit and run occurred when you were away from your parked car, jot down as much information as you can, such as:

  • Time.
  • Location.
  • Damage.

* A note about fraud: Some drivers hit an object and try to claim that they were the victim of a hit and run, so you want to be able to prove that you are not attempting fraud yourself.

Filing a Police Report

When someone hits you and drives off, you may feel compelled to chase him in your car. But beware: this can cause you to drive recklessly and get into another accident, or to be the victim of retaliation from the other driver.

A better idea is to call the police as soon as possible and file an accident report that includes the names of any witnesses and other important details.

Even if the police do not find the driver who hit you, having a police report on file can hasten the auto claims process and give you an official document to rely upon later.

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