Perhaps a driver had come out of nowhere, ran a red light or stop sign, and then slammed into your vehicle. Then, the driver may have even made eye contact with you and then decided for themselves it was better to just get out of there entirely. A hit and run accident can happen so fast, that you may just sit there in a state of shock and disbelief that the other driver is actually trying to get away. However, it is so important that you stay focused and try to gather as much information about that driver as they flee.
There is no doubt that a hit and run accident can leave you feeling shaky and outraged. After all, car accidents are an expensive and inconvenient thing to deal with, so to see the at-fault driver leave you with the mess to deal with can be very infuriating. Here, we have answered questions about how to handle a hit run accident if it ever happens to you or a loved one:
Is there ever a circumstance where it’s okay to follow the other vehicle?
It can be very tempting to chase down the driver who just plowed into your car and demand that they halt, but it really isn’t safe. Firstly, you may be more willing to drive unsafely yourself in an effort to get to the other car. You could cause another accident as you are in pursuit. Secondly, you don’t know if the other driver is dangerous. You could be putting yourself in serious danger by tracking down a criminal or risky person. It’s best to pull your car over to a safe spot and check yourself and passengers for injuries.
If the other driver got away, is it worth it to even call the police?
Yes, even if you think there’s not much information to share with the officer, having a police report of the incident can be of use to your insurance company when you file a claim. Also, law enforcement who are surveying the area can keep a look out for this driver and track them down without you putting yourself in danger. Let the officer gather the details he or she needs to create the report, and then ask how you can get a copy of it in the days to follow.
What if I didn’t realize it was a hit and run at the time?
Maybe the driver did halt and give you the information you need to report the accident. But then, perhaps you realize that the driver gave you false information and now you cannot track them down or know who they actually are. This is where looping law enforcement and a car accident law firm in Woodland Hills, CA can help. Hopefully, you have written down at least the license plate number and description of the car so police can perform an investigation. Even though the driver didn’t technically flee the scene, by giving you fake information it is considered a hit and run scenario.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury claims and hit and run accidents.