What To Do If You Are in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident
Car accidents are stressful, no matter the circumstance. Add to that a hit-and-run, and the stress is manifold. Protect yourself and mitigate unnecessary stress by knowing how best to respond and what steps to take. The better prepared you are, the better your case for compensation.
Receive fair compensation so you can cover damages and medical bills, as well as any other losses resulting from the accident. Safeguard yourself against insurance companies who don’t represent your best interests by hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Portland. A local lawyer understands state laws and will be your ally in a hit-and-run accident.
Below are a few important steps to guide you through the process immediately following an accident so you can receive the best resolution possible and focus on what matters most: healing.
First of all, make sure everyone is safe, including yourself. You may be worried about damages to your car and consequential expenses, especially if the other driver kept driving without taking accountability, but don’t let that distract you from what matters most. Your safety and that of your passengers are the most important.
Survey the scene. Is it safer to stay with your car or to remove all passengers and move to somewhere safer? If your car is on a busy freeway or intersection, you may run the risk of getting hit again. If you are able to move, get to a safer spot. However, if serious injuries have been sustained, it may not be safe to move. Assess the scene before deciding.
Is anyone injured? If you are able, call 911. If you are unable, tell someone else to call. Remember, some injuries are harder to detect, so when in doubt, make the call and don’t take any chances.
Call the Police
In the case of a hit-and-run, it’s important to immediately call the police without delay. A police report or accident claim needs to be filed to establish fault and aid in finding the missing driver. Since you are the victim of a hit-and-run, having the police involved will help your case. An official police report contains important details for the insurance claim, used to verify who is at-fault. This can help your claim if the other driver was responsible.
Even though the other driver fled the scene, try to jot down as many details about the car you can remember. You may not have been able to get the license plate number, but did you recognize the make or model of the car? What about the vehicle’s color? Which direction was it headed? Write details down as soon as possible, while your memory is fresh.
The more evidence and documentation you have, the better your case for claiming compensation. Document and record as much as possible. Take photos of any damage to your car and the scene of the accident. Where was the accident? Are there skid marks? Photograph, video, and write down what you observe. This includes personal injuries and symptoms. If you need medical care, keep copies of receipts and record your experience with treatment. What are your symptoms? Write these downs. Make sure to seek medical attention, if needed, as soon as possible.
As mentioned earlier, don’t wait to record these events. Write down your recollection of events while it is fresh in your memory. Include as much detail as possible.
When gathering information, collect contact information of any witnesses. A witness statement can help supply additional information about the accident. Ask if they are willing to stay to give a witness statement to the police. If they are unwilling to wait for the police, they can still make a witness statement to you. In this instance, make sure to get their contact information.
Enlist a Personal Injury Attorney
If you live in Oregon, hire a local car accident lawyer in Portland to represent your interests. No matter where you live, the right lawyer will have your best interests in mind and seek fair compensation. Insurance companies do not always act in good faith and may attempt to minimize how much you get.
A personal injury attorney with experience in hit-and-runs understands the law and how much your case is worth. They also know which documents must be filed by what deadlines. Hire an attorney to be your ally and represent your interests. They will ensure you receive compensation without delay and aren’t denied what you are owed by simple clerical errors or missed deadlines.
At Warren Allen LLP, our personal injury attorneys are here to help. Contact us for solid legal advice and representation. Our experienced team will help you receive fair compensation and the best resolution possible. If you have been in an accident resulting in injury or damage, contact our firm today and learn what your options are.
You may be entitled to more than you realize. Compensation can cover a range of expenses and symptoms, including, but not limited to:
- Lost wages due to missing work
- Future lost wages due to injury
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering (physical or emotional)
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement or dismemberment
Enlist the help of an experienced attorney who understands what you may be entitled to and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Notify Your Insurance Provider
Call your insurance company as soon as possible. You will need to contact your insurance company and provide basic information so you can start your claim. Though you are obligated to report the accident to your insurance company, do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
Once you hire a Warren Allen lawyer as your attorney, refer the insurance company adjuster to us, since we will now represent you. When you authorize your attorney to represent your interests, you will no longer have to deal with the insurance adjusters directly. We will focus on your economic recovery so you can focus on what matters most- physical and emotional recovery.