Hit and run cases have increased at an alarming rate worldwide. In Canada, almost 1,60,000 cases of hit and run accidents are caused every year. But in most instances, Police cannot identify the real criminal because of a lack of evidence. In that case, you should ask for help from an experienced accident lawyer.
Again, most people have no idea how to report a hit-and-run case because they think it is impossible to track down the person who hit your car. But the consequences may cost you a lot as you need to report to ask for your claim from your insurer and the party at fault.
So how to report a hit and run accident case?
In this article, you will find an easy step–by–step guide for you that will get stuck in your mind next time you hit the road. And you will have the quick reflex to act properly in such a situation.
What Should You Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
Suppose you are driving in your lane while maintaining your speed limit. If anyone accidentally hits you and leaves the scene immediately without checking on you, it will be reported as a hit-and-run case.
Understandably, you’ll be concerned about your vehicle and your injury. But you need to act fast and ask for help.
You need to follow the step below, no matter how severe or minor the accident is.
Step 01: Immediately Call the Police:
You need to save the emergency contact number of your area in the speed dial of your phone. This will help you to call for help after such an incident.
If you are a Canadian, call 911 immediately.
Step 02: Ask for an Ambulance:
Seeking medical help when someone is injured is also necessary. While calling the Police to report the accident, you can inform them that you need an ambulance at the crime scene.
Step 03: Look for Shreds of Evidence:
There is still a possibility that Police will not arrive at the scene when your accident is not a major one. In that case, you have to collect the pieces of evidence and report them to the nearby police station.
And for a severe hit and run accident, the Police will arrive with help after a while. In the meantime, you can collect the following pieces of evidence:
- Note down the contact information (phone number, email address, office/workplace address, home address) of any witnesses present at the scene.
- Ask if they have noticed the model number, colour and brand or any related information about the car.
- Look for any shops around you and possibly a CCTV camera. Even if nobody had seen the face of the driver, the cameras might have caught sight of the car’s license plate number.
- Write down what you remember about the car or the pattern of the accident. You can also record everything you remember about the other vehicle, the date and time, and the location.
- It would help if you took pictures of the injury before receiving medical attention and the damages your car has faced.
These will help you identify the criminal and assist the Police with authentic and proper information.
Step 04: Inform your Insurance Company:
You should call your insurance company agent and inform them that you have been in an accident. Whether you are at fault or not, that will be investigated by both the Police and the insurer.
After proving your innocence, your insurer will give you a claim number representing your file. And your insurance company will contact the at-fault party’s insurer to claim your compensation.
You may need to pay some deductible amount of money. But some companies provide a waiver for the hit-run case. Check your policy beforehand and know about your rights after a hit and run case.
Step 05: Call your Accident Lawyer
Sometimes, the insurance company delays the coverage you need to get medical help. In that case, it is better to ask for help from an experienced accident lawyer. He will also help you file a lawsuit against the party at fault.
What Not to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Step 01: You Should Not Chase a Driver Who Flees The Scene
It is not only dangerous, but you may lose out on firsthand reports. Instead, contact the police and provide them with any identifying information.
Step 02: Don’t Wait to Contact The Police or Your Car Insurance Provider
The official accident report will help authorities in their search for the missing driver and will be important when filing your accident claim.
The first 24 hours after any hit and run case is crucial if you are the accident victim. As soon as you inform the Police about the incident, it will be easier for them to find out the other person’s identity.
It would help if you did not hesitate to ask for help from the pedestrians and witnesses at the scene. Tell them to stay with you until the Police or emergency help comes.
Spread the information about reporting a hit and run with your friends. But above all, you should be careful while walking or driving on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some commonly asked questions about a hit and run accident that may come across your mind:
What Does Police Do in a Hit and Run?
Initially, Police observe the accident scene and interrogate the victims of the accident, passengers, and witnesses present at the scene. With the evidence, the Police then try to locate the vehicle and driver on the run.
How Long After a Hit and Run Accident Can You Be Charged?
Depending on your crime, it is possible to be charged for 1 to 3 years. You will be charged for a year for misdemeanour cases, whereas you may end up in jail for straight 3 years for felony hit and run.
What Do You Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car and Leaves?
Hitting a car in the parking lot and leaving the scene is also considered a hit-n-run case. Since this is regarded as a crime, you need to file a report to the Police immediately. And ask for their help to find the criminal.
Do I Have to Pay My Excess If Someone Hits Me?
If someone hits your car, you still need to pay your excess to your insurer. If the Police can prove that you are not at fault, and your insurance company recovers the money from the at-fault party, they will give you back the money.
Do I Need to Tell My Insurance If Someone Hits Me?
Yes, you do. It is one of the first things you should do if someone hits your car and leave the place without any explanation or before the Police arrive. Your insurance company will take the necessary steps to recover the compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer.