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What to Do After a Hit and Run

Posted in on May 29, 2015

Any accident can be a stressful event. It’s even more stressful when the other driver decides to flee the scene. When you’re the victim of a hit and run, you need to work quickly to protect your rights. But what should you do? Here’s what to do when you’re in a hit and run accident from our team of skilled car accident lawyers.

What to Do After a Hit and Run

After a hit and run, you should call the police as soon as possible. Gather the information that you can from the scene. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and ask them what they saw. Seek medical attention if you need it. Make written notes of what you remember as soon as possible.

Steps to Take After a Hit and Run

When you’re the victim of a hit and run, take the following steps:

  1. Call the police – In a hit and run case, time is one of your most important assets. The sooner the police can start working on the case, the better the chances are that they’re going to find the responsible driver. You should call the police as soon as possible. Usually, the police will put out a be on the lookout call to all police officers on duty. If an officer sees a vehicle with damage that matches the description, you might solve your hit and run case quickly. In any event, the sooner the police begin working on the case, the better they can work the case.
  2. Get witnesses information – If there are witnesses to the accident, get their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Ask them to tell you everything that they can about the accident. It can be hard to remember everything that the witnesses say, so write down as much as you can.
  3. Look for evidence at the scene – There may be helpful information at the scene of the accident. For example, debris found at the scene may prove the type of vehicle involved or show how the accident occurred. Look for anything that’s out of place or unusual.
  4. Take photos of the accident scene – Use your phone to snap a few quick pictures of the accident scene. You never know what may be important later. Take photos from all angles to document the accident scene.
  5. Don’t leave the scene – You must comply with the law even if you’re scared or upset. Although it may be tempting, don’t leave the accident scene yourself. Instead, make a report to the police.
  6. Write down what you remember – You might be surprised how quickly your memory may fade after an accident. As soon as you can, write out a narrative of events. Include every detail that you remember, even if you don’t think that it matters.
  7. Follow up with the police – Be sure to check with the police for updates. They should prepare a police report or accident report. You should get a copy of their report. Asking the police about your case encourages them to work diligently and keeps you informed about the process.
  8. Notify your insurance company – You might be able to recover from your own insurance company when you’re the victim of a hit and run. You may be covered by a type of insurance called uninsured or underinsured motorist. That insurance can step in and provide you compensation when you don’t know the identity of the responsible driver. Carefully review your insurance policy to determine your coverage.
  9. Participate in criminal proceedings – If the police solve the hit and run, they may bring criminal charges against the responsible driver. You have the right to participate in the proceedings. It’s essential to make your voice heard. You may be called to testify. You may have the opportunity to make a statement to the judge at a sentencing hearing.
  10. Bring a civil claim – If you can identify the hit and run driver, you may bring a civil claim for compensation. Even if there are criminal charges, there are good reasons that it may be in your best interests to bring a civil claim, too. A civil claim can ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve and hold the offender accountable for fleeing from the accident.

What Do You Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

After a hit and run accident, you must protect your well being and do your part to gather evidence. The most important things to do are calling the police and seeking medical attention. Even though the hit and run isn’t your fault, your own observations are still important to help the police solve the case. Tell the police as much as you can. Be sure to follow up with them and get a copy of the accident report.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Hit and Run to the Police?

You must report a hit and run to the police as soon as possible. Typically, this means calling from your phone at the scene of the accident. You can also have someone else call. If there’s no way to call from the scene of the crash, you can leave just for the purpose of finding a way to call. You should find the fastest way to report the accident to the police.

How Do You Catch a Hit and Run Driver?

To catch a hit and run driver, you might try to find vehicles with visible damage in your area. The police might note the make and model of the car and look for similar vehicles. A description of the driver or a partial license plate number can help. A surprising number of hit and run accidents are solved; the police use the information that you have to investigate and identify potential suspects.

Contact Our Denver Attorneys for Car Accidents

Are you the victim of a hit and run? You have rights, and you have options. Contact our Denver attorneys for hit and run accidents for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Hit and Run Infographic

5 things you should do in a hit and run accident

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  Attorney Kyle Bachus knows first-hand how difficult it can be to suddenly lose a loved one in an accident. It’s also devastating when you or a family member suffers severe injuries that forever change your lives.

Kyle wrote this book as a resource from his personal experience for families who have suffered a traumatic loss.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
Expertise logo: best car accident lawyers in Colorado Springs