Most car accidents can leave you shaken and confused, especially when injuries are involved. Dealing with the aftermath of a crash can be particularly difficult when the other driver leaves the scene without stopping. Two of the most important things you should do are call the police and seek medical attention.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important that you protect your legal rights. What is more, the steps you take following a crash could have an impact on your health and safety. Consider the following steps for what to do in a hit-and-run case.
Attempt to Identify the Responsible Driver
If you see that the driver that has struck your vehicle is attempting to leave the scene of the crash, you have a limited window of time to identify them. Every detail counts, so it is helpful to write down as much as possible. Obtaining a physical description of the vehicle and the driver can be especially helpful.
The most important step toward identifying the responsible driver is to take down their license plate number. This number can be used to track the registered owner of the vehicle. From there, it is often possible to identify the driver responsible for the crash.
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Avoid Following the Driver
It might be your first instinct to follow the driver in order to obtain their identity. It is important to avoid doing so, however. Following the driver that caused your accident could lead to a dangerous confrontation. Additionally, if the fleeing driver begins driving aggressively, it could increase the odds of a second accident occurring. It is not worth putting yourself at risk in your effort to track down the responsible driver.
Contact the Police
It is in your best interest to contact the police immediately following a hit-and-run accident. In many cases, the police could track down the at-fault driver in the moments following the crash. The more information you provide to the police, the more likely they will be to find the driver that hit you. Informing the police of the type of vehicle, as well as any damage it sustained, could make their job of finding the driver that hit you easier.
The police could eventually identify the responsible driver, even if they do not do so immediately. The police could investigate the accident scene in order to find a video of the driver’s license plate or even witnesses that know the driver’s identity. The police frequently shed light on the identities of hit-and-run drivers after crashes.
Collect Evidence at the Scene
Traffic accident scenes do not last long. If you have the opportunity to do so safely, investigating the scene immediately after the crash could improve your chances of identifying the other driver. This could involve taking photos of the damage to your vehicle, or even parts of the other driver’s car that might have fallen off in the crash.
Another useful option is canvassing the area for witnesses or security cameras. Finding witnesses immediately after a crash is important, as the window to track them down is short. Once the witnesses leave the scene of the crash, you might never have another opportunity to identify them.
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Seek Medical Care
Your health should always be your top priority after a crash. If you were injured in an accident with a hit-and-run driver, you should seek out medical care as soon as possible. This is true even if you feel your injuries are minor. The injuries that can result from a car accident often worsen over time. This is due to the adrenaline rush from the accident subsiding.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 2.3 million people must go to the hospital after car accidents. The sooner you seek out medical care following a hit-and-run accident, the more likely you are to reduce the severity of those injuries. Your legal claim can wait—focus on your health needs before worrying about a potential civil case.
Consider Working with an Attorney
One of the most important steps you can take following a hit-and-run accident is speaking with an attorney. Your attorney can advise you on what to do in a hit-and-run accident case. From investigating the identity of the other driver to reviewing your insurance options, your attorney could help you seek the monetary compensation you deserve.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers right away at (404) 888-8888 to get started.