Published in Personal Injury on April 3, 2019.
As a leading car accident law firm, we routinely receive emails and phone calls from people stating, “I was involved in a hit and run accident, what now?”
This question is perfectly reasonable. After a hit and run, you probably are quite shaken up and don’t know what to do. Fortunately, there are steps you can take that will increase your chances of receiving compensation.
Hit and run statistics are alarming. According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, there were 16,608 hit and run collisions in 2012. Thirty-three people died in these crashes and thousands more suffered injuries.
If you have been involved in a collision, you should contact a hit and run Indianapolis attorney as soon as possible. Also remember to take the following steps.
Pull to the Side of the Road
You are probably badly shaken, so you shouldn’t be driving. Get the car onto the shoulder and turn on your flashers to let traffic know you are stopped.
Check on Everyone in the Car
Make sure that people are not badly injured. If they are, then you should call an ambulance to come to the scene and get people to the hospital. If you are too hurt, ask someone else to call for you.
Call the Police
You need to notify the police of the hit and run as soon as possible. You can call 9-1-1 and report the accident. Give the police as much information as you can about the vehicle that hit you:
- The direction it was going
- The color
- The make and model
- As much of the license plate number as you saw
- Any description of the driver, if you caught a glance
Your Indianapolis hit and run attorney will also find this information helpful. Remember to get a copy of the police report or ask for the report number. You can pick a copy up later.
Someone might have seen more of the accident than you did. This is especially true if you were not in your vehicle at the time of the collision. Go into nearby businesses and ask if anyone saw the person who hit your vehicle.
Get their description of what they saw along with their names and contact information. They might be able to identify the driver who perpetrated the hit and run.
Document Your Damages
You want to fully document two things:
- The damage to your vehicle. Make sure that you take pictures of all damage on the outside and inside.
- Your physical injuries. You can also take pictures of all bruises, cuts, lacerations, etc. These pictures will help capture what you looked like immediately after the accident.
Also remember to save proof of all money you spent dealing with the after-effects of the accident. You should certainly save the following:
- Medical bills
- Receipts for any medical care, such as prescription drugs or assistive devices purchased
- Repair estimates for your vehicle
- Proof of lost wages if you could not work because of the accident
Put all this documentation in a folder and save it so that your attorney can look at it.
Obtain a Full Medical Assessment
After a hit and run accident, what to do depends on how badly hurt you are. If you are disabled or in serious pain, then receiving medical care is your first (and only) priority. But other people feel “okay” in the immediate aftermath of a hit and run. Sometimes symptoms take a day or two to develop.
After leaving the scene of the accident, make sure you get to a doctor or the hospital. You want to receive immediate treatment, since this helps document your physical injuries and gives you a good chance to fully recover.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Under Indiana law, the person who caused an accident must pay you compensation, but that person has fled the scene. Fortunately, you may have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (called “UM/UIM” coverage) with your own insurance company.
UM coverage can pay compensation in a hit and run situation, so you must notify your insurer as soon as possible. Further, prompt notification may be required as a condition of your insurance policy as well.
It is also important to retain an attorney to help you in a hit and run situation, so the attorney can protect and advocate for your legal interests and negotiate on your behalf.
Hire an Experienced Indianapolis Hit and Run Attorney
Hit and run accidents are unsettling. Fortunately, legal help is available. At Eskew Law, we have helped many injured motorists obtain compensation after a hit and run, and we are here to help you as well.
Please contact us right away. One of our attorneys can meet with you to discuss the accident and your chances of receiving compensation. Please call us at 317-974-0177 or submit an online message.