A hit-and-run is usually an accident in which the erring driver flees the scene of the crash. If you or anyone with you is injured, or your car is damaged in a hit-and-run accident, first ensure everyone’s safety.
It is always useful to have prior knowledge about the protection your car insurance coverage provides in such a case. There are also some vital steps to keep in mind if you are a victim in a hit-and-run situation.
Steps to Follow for a Hit-and-Run Victim
Following these few steps will help increase the chances of finding the other driver and recover the compensation for your losses.
Things to Do at the Time of the Accident
- Find a safe spot out of the way of any traffic and stop your car. If possible, note down the number plate and details like the model and make of the hit-and-run vehicle.
- Call 911 if you or someone with you has suffered injuries.
- Any extra details like the direction in which the vehicle was heading, along with the location and time of the accident are also helpful. It is handy if you have a dashcam in your car.
- Collect as much evidence at the crash site as you can. Click pictures of your injuries and the damage to your car. Click pictures of the scene, look for other evidence like broken glass, pieces of the other vehicle, and skid marks.
- Call the police and remember to collect a copy of the police report.
- Look around for any eyewitnesses to the crash who can provide their account of the accident. Note their contact details.
- Call your insurance company to report the accident and ask for anything they want you to do.
Things Not to Do
- Do not try to chase after or follow the fleeing driver. It’scritial for you to be at the scene to gather evidence and talk to any eyewitnesses. Leaving the crash scene, just like the other driver, can go against you in the eyes of the law.
- Do not delay contacting the police and the insurance provider. An early report can help the police to look for and probably find the other driver. This can help you in a faster settlement of your claim.
- Do not wait in your car if you are near the road. Find a place that is somewhere safe and away from the road.
Things to Do Later
- Collect and save all the records, including the police report, evidence from the crash site, and your medical treatment reports.
- Get in touch with a North Carolina attorney to understand your legal options. The attorney can help pursue the investigations to identify the hit-and-run driver. They can also work to help you get the compensation from yours and the negligent driver’s insurance companies.
Car Insurance Coverage for a Hit-and-Run
As a victim of a hit-and-run, your auto policy may cover the following to help with your expenses:
- Collision cover
- Uninsured motorist injury cover
- Uninsured motorist property damage cover
- Medical treatment cover
- Personal injury cover
Insurance Coverage in North Carolina Hit-and-Run
Typically, the uninsured motorist provider covers the vehicle and any injuries to those involved in a hit-and-run. North Carolina laws still require certain things from you to uphold the validity of the claim. These are:
- You must report the accident within 24 hours for an investigation to take place
- You must notify the uninsured motorist provider within a few days of the accident
- The accident must involve a collision between two vehicles
Some Tips to Understand the North Carolina Laws
- The last point stated above needs a closer inspection, as North Carolina has a ‘no contact rule’ for uninsured car claims. This means your uninsured motorist provider can reject the claim in cases where a vehicle gets run off the road without contact, or an object from one vehicle hits another vehicle.
- The entire process to obtain uninsured motorist coverage from the insurer can be a complicated one filled with unreasonable delays. This can prove to be frustrating for the policyholder. Even more reason for you to work with an experienced North Carolina hit-and-run accident attorney who understands the NC laws.
- To legally claim compensation, the insurance companies need you to file an uninsured motorist claim and prove the fault of the uninsured driver. An expert attorney well-versed in the insurance loopholes, and experienced in negotiating settlements, can help you through the complex process.
Legal Help for Victims in Hit-and-Run Accidents in NC
To be involved in a hit-and-run, and to fight for appropriate compensation can be very stressful. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run and have suffered property damage or injuries, contact our skilled and dedicated hit-and-run accident attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn. Call us today at 800-752-0042 to request a free consultation.