Being involved in a car accident is stressful enough, but when the driver who caused the crash takes off, the aftermath can feel overwhelming. This can be even further compounded if you have suffered injuries in the crash. A Virginia car accident attorney can help you pursue financial damages for any losses you suffer, however, there are also steps that you can take to help ensure a successful outcome of your hit and run crash.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Crash
The first thing to do when you are hit is to make sure you and anyone else in your vehicle receive medical attention they may need. Even if you think there are no serious injuries, call 911 and report the accident and request EMTs. It is not uncommon for injury symptoms to be delayed after a crash. Documentation of injuries is important in any crash case, but in hit and run crashes, this evidence is especially critical.
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If you are physically able to, there are pieces of evidence you should collect at the scene. One of the key components to a hit and run case is identifying the fleeing driver. Write down as much about their vehicle as possible, including make, model, color, and any other identifying marks. Try to get as much as the license plate number as possible. Depending on the severity of the crash, the other vehicle may have sustained heavy damage so make note of this damage and the location. If the driver stopped, write down any description of him or her.
Look around for witnesses who may have seen what happened. They can be crucial to proving your case. Ask them if they will provide their contact information and speak to police.
Photographs of the scene are also an important piece of proving a hit and run crash occurred. Take photos of your vehicle and any damage done to it, including any paint from the other vehicle left on your car. Take photos of any debris on the ground, skid marks on the ground, and any landmarks. Also look around the area for any security cameras on buildings. There could be video of the actual crash which could help identify the driver and help prove your case.
According to national statistics, there are almost 700,000 hit and run crashes that occur in this country each year and that number keeps rising. If the driver is caught, the evidence that you and your attorney have gathered will go along way in proving your case against the driver and their insurance company, allowing you to pursue damages for any losses you have suffered.
Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons why a driver flees the scene of a crash is because they do not have active automobile liability insurance. If this is the situation in your case, you can still collect damages by filing a claim with your insurance company, under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) clause in your policy. You can also file a claim with your own insurance company if the driver is never identified.
Filing under this provision can be complex and if not done correctly, your claim may be denied. This is why you should consult with a Virginia hit and run accident attorney before proceeding.
Contact a Va. Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, contact a Virginia car accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton to find out what your legal options may be. Our firm has built a solid reputation for successfully obtaining the best possible outcome available for our clients.
Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You can also download our free legal info guide on uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.