Experiencing a hit-and-run accident is a deeply traumatic and disorienting event. The abruptness of the incident, the unexpected jolt of shock, and the immediate aftermath can all contribute to a sense of chaos and confusion. This feeling is often intensified when the offender, rather than stopping and taking responsibility as required by law, has chosen to flee the scene. This act of evasion can leave victims feeling physically and emotionally hurt, causing feelings of helplessness, anger, and uncertainty about the future.
When these cases happen, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of the correct course of action. You may find yourself asking these questions: What should I do now? Who should I call? What are my rights in this situation? It’s important to remember that even in the face of such a distressing event, you are not powerless. You have rights and options available to you, and there are clear steps you can take to protect yourself and your interests.
There are appropriate measures you must take during the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident. At Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers are here to guide our clients through each step you should take, ensuring your immediate safety, protecting your legal rights, and preparing for any potential legal proceedings that may follow. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to navigate this challenging situation with confidence and ensure that you are fully prepared to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
In the immediate aftermath of any car accident, including a hit-and-run, the first and most critical step is to prioritize your safety and the safety of any others involved. Throughout the chaos and confusion, it’s essential to remain calm and take a moment to assess your surroundings. If it’s possible and safe to do so, try to move yourself and your vehicle to a secure location away from the flow of traffic. This could be the side of the road, a nearby parking lot, or any other location where you are less likely to be affected by passing vehicles. This not only ensures your safety but also helps prevent further accidents caused by obstructing the roadway.
Once you’re in a safe location, it’s important to check for any injuries. This includes both visible injuries and any internal discomfort you may be feeling. In the shock and adrenaline rush that often follows an accident, you might not immediately notice pain or injury. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay close attention to your body and seek medical attention if needed. Don’t hesitate to call for an ambulance if you or anyone else involved in the accident is hurt. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, it’s still a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries, particularly those related to the neck, back, or head, may not be immediately apparent and could potentially worsen if left untreated.
Your health and safety are paramount. Even in a hit-and-run situation where the other party has fled, your first responsibility is to yourself and your well-being. Once you’ve ensured that you’re safe and that any necessary medical help is on the way, you can then proceed with the other steps needed.
Call the Police
Regardless of whether the offending driver has chosen to remain at the scene or has decided to flee, it is essential to report the incident to the police. This step is not one to be overlooked. Even if it may seem like a useless effort given the offender’s absence, making this call is a critical part of the process.
When you contact the police, you’re not just reporting a crime — you are creating a formal police report. This report serves as an official, legal recording of the incident. It documents the facts as they are known at the time and provides a basis for any future investigations. This report will be a crucial piece of evidence when dealing with insurance companies, as it provides an unbiased account of the incident. It can also be a key document in potential legal proceedings, as it can help establish the facts of the case and potentially support your claims.
When you speak with the police, try to provide them with as much information as you can recall about the incident. This might include details about the other vehicle, such as its make, model, color, or license plate number. If you were able to catch a glimpse of the driver, describe explicit features — their appearance, clothing, or even the direction in which they fled. Every detail, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, could potentially be helpful.
In the heat of the moment, it’s natural to feel flustered or forgetful. However, try to relay the information as accurately as possible. The police are trained to handle these situations and will guide you through the process. Remember, your call to the police is the first step towards ensuring that the incident is properly documented and that you’re taking the necessary steps toward seeking justice.
Document the Scene
If you’re able to, document the scene of the accident. This includes taking photographs of your vehicle, any other vehicles involved, and the surrounding area. Look for any potential witnesses who may have seen the incident and ask for their contact information. They may be able to provide additional information about the hit-and-run driver. To formally register an accident, you are required to complete and send the Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report Form to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve ensured your immediate safety and reported the incident to the police, your next step should be to get in touch with your insurance company. This is a crucial step that should be done as soon as you are able to do so. The sooner you report the incident to your insurer, the sooner they can start working on your claim.
When you contact your insurance company, be prepared to provide them with a detailed account of the incident. This should include the police report that you have obtained, which serves as an official record of the incident. Additionally, any other documentation you have gathered — such as photographs of the scene, witness statements, or medical reports — should also be shared with your insurer. These pieces of evidence can help your claim and provide a clearer picture of the incident and its aftermath.
Your insurance company’s role will largely depend on the specifics of your coverage. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, for example, your insurance company may be able to help cover costs that the at-fault driver’s insurance can’t. This could include repair costs for your vehicle, medical bills if you’ve sustained injuries, and potentially even other expenses related to the incident, such as a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
While it’s true that your insurance company is there to assist you after a hit-and-run incident, it’s important to stay vigilant, provide all necessary information promptly, and maintain open communication. Their assistance may not always be as comprehensive or helpful as you might expect, so it’s essential to stay proactive and informed throughout the process.
Consult with a Lawyer
If you are asking yourself, can I sue for a hit-and-run? The answer is it depends. In the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident, especially one that has resulted in significant injuries or damages, it is crucial to seek the advise of a lawyer. While the steps outlined above are essential, navigating the complexities of the legal system is challenging, particularly when you are also dealing with the physical and emotional impact of an accident. This is where the expertise of a lawyer can be invaluable.
A lawyer will advocate on your behalf, fighting to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. This can include compensation for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages due to time off work, and even non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
At Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers, we understand the stress and uncertainty that can follow a hit-and-run incident. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive legal support to victims of such incidents. We’re here to help guide you through the legal process, answer your questions, and advocate for your rights.
Contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers
Dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident can be stressful, filled with uncertainty and stress, but you don’t have to face this challenging situation alone. The dedicated team at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers is here to stand by your side, providing the expert legal support you need during this difficult time. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run incident and are seeking professional legal guidance, we encourage you to reach out to us. You can contact us at (617)-777-7777 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
If you prefer, you can also start the process immediately by completing our online form. We understand the urgency and importance of your situation, and we’re committed to helping you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Remember, in the face of a hit-and-run incident, you are not alone. Let us be your trusted partner in this journey, fighting for your rights and working hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.