Tragically, every year many people are in car collisions where the other driver does not stop and drives away. While sometimes this happens for innocent reasons, such as them not realizing that they struck your vehicle, it often occurs due to them wanting to escape responsibility for their actions. According to AAA statistics, over 10% of car crashes are initially reported as a hit and run. If you are involved in a hit and run and unsure of what your response should be, here is what you need to know.
Write Down What You Remember Immediately
It is much harder to catch hit and run drivers than you might think, especially if all that you have is a vague description of the car. Immediately after the crash, if it is safe to do so, you should write down as many details as possible while they are fresh in your mind. What was the make and model of the other vehicle? Was there any pre-existing damage? Did they have a license plate cover or bumper stickers that might make the car more recognizable? Do you have a partial license plate number? Where was the other vehicle heading? What was the exact time and location of the accident?
After the hit and run, you should call the police and wait at the scene in case the other driver returns. If there are any pedestrians or other drivers that stop, you should also record what they remember and get any evidence that they have, like pictures or videos. If local shops have security cameras, it could also be worth working with your attorney or the police to get the footage. Always thoroughly photograph damage to your vehicle and take a video walking around the car as well.
Make Sure You Get Medical Care
One of the biggest challenges that many victims of a hit and run face is not immediately noticing that they are injured due to adrenaline and panic. It’s critical that you seek medical care, even if you do not think you have a major issue like a broken bone.
Work with Your Lawyer to Recover Damages
In traditional accidents where both parties stay behind to exchange information, the aftermath is fairly straightforward. However, when you are involved in a hit and run, things can become more complicated. Working with your attorney at Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad LLP will help you decide your next steps and go about filing a claim with your insurance company, locating the other driver, and potentially heading to court. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be able to file a claim using that part of your car insurance policy.
Know What Types of Damages You Can Recover
Finally, it’s critical for you to understand what types of damages you can recover in the aftermath of a hit and run so that you know the importance of the records that you are keeping. Some of the damages that you may be eligible to recover include:
- Healthcare costs, including visits to doctors, specialists, and the hospital; surgeries; prescription medication; diagnostic tests; and any other medical treatments that are deemed necessary by your care team
- The cost of physical therapy or other rehabilitative therapies
- Any devices or equipment that you require as you recover or permanently, like wheelchairs or crutches
- Lost wages during your recovery time and/or addressing reduced future earning capacity
- Property loss or damage
- Mental distress or pain and suffering
When you work with an experienced team like Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad LLP, you can rest assured that we will work tirelessly on your behalf to recover the damages that you deserve in the aftermath of your hit and run accident. We are here to help you heal and take the stress of restitution off of you.
Help for Accident Victims After an Auto Accident
Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad LLP is an established law practice dedicated to assisting auto accident victims throughout Maryland. We specialize in wills, estates, trusts, family law, personal injury law, business law, elder law and real estate law. To get in touch or schedule your consultation, call us at your convenience at (410) 848-4444. We are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve and start on the path to healing.