Car accidents can result in minor to serious injuries, and the aftermath can be incredibly stressful. The entanglements with insurance, the police, and the other drivers can be taxing on your time, energy, and finances.
A hit-and-run can prove to be even more frustrating and difficult. If another driver causes damage to your vehicle and/or injury to you, and then flees the scene, you will likely be confused and upset. The most important thing to remember in this situation: stay calm and follow these simple steps.
1. Call 911
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and 911 should be called immediately. If you or anyone in your vehicle is injured, let the dispatcher know so that medical personnel can be summoned to the scene. Be sure to let the dispatcher know that the other driver has fled the scene, and give them your location, and any details about the vehicle that you can remember, including the make, model, license plate number, and color of the vehicle. This may help the police located the party that fled the scene.
2. Document As Much As Possible And Provide The Information To The Police
While the event is still fresh in your mind, take a few minutes to write down everything you know about this incident. Things to note include, but are not limited to:
- the time, date, and location of the incident;
- the damage to the vehicle(s);
- where your vehicle was on the roadway and in relation to other landmarks on scene;
- the type and severity of any injuries;
- the make, model, license plate number, direction headed, and description of the driver of the fleeing vehicle;
- the names and contact witnesses of any witnesses to the incident.
Make sure to provide all of this information to the responding law enforcement officer on scene. They will use this information in not only attempting to locate the fleeing vehicle, but to also create a police report. These details will also prove to be incredibly important later on in any potential insurance claims.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
After the crash, and once you have received appropriate medical care, you should contact your insurance company and inform them of the incident. Because Minnesota is a no-fault state, your own insurance company will set up a no-fault claim, which will pay for, among other things, $20,000 in medical expenses and $20,000 in wage loss. If the other driver is located and has insurance, then you would be able to bring a second potential claim, called a personal injury claim, against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. In your personal injury claim, you are typically able to recover medical expenses and wage loss not covered by your no-fault claim, as well as compensation for your pain, suffering and emotional distress. If the other driver could not be located, or is uninsured, instead of a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, you may be able to pursue an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance company.
4. Consult A Personal Injury Attorney
The personal injury attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury understand that personal injury claims can be difficult – especially in the case of a hit-and-run. That’s why we work hard to make sure you feel heard, and that you get the compensation to help you get on the road to recovery. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Nelson Personal Injury today for a free consultation: nelsonpersonalinjury.com.