I Was in an Accident with a Hit-and-Run Driver. What Do I Do Next?
If another driver’s negligence caused an accident that resulted in your injuries, you may be dealing with hospital stays, time off from work, and other interruptions in your life. Following a hit-and-run accident, these difficulties can be more challenging since you may not know who is liable for your damages.
In a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to stay calm and document everything you can to identify the driver who fled the accident scene. A Green Bay car crash attorney can help you pursue all avenues for recovering compensation.
If you’re involved in a hit-and-run car accident, there are a few things you should do right away to preserve evidence and find the at-fault driver.
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. When you or a passenger has an injury, call 911 for law enforcement to file a report and request emergency medical assistance. If the surrounding area is clear of oncoming traffic, move your vehicle to a safer place, like the side of the roadway, to avoid further collisions.
Once you’ve reached a safe location, jot down as much information as you can about the other vehicle and its driver. If possible, try to recall the car’s make and color, the direction of travel, and the license plate number.
You can view the footage to see the fleeing car if you have a dashcam. Ask passengers for help recalling the car’s details. Remember to take pictures and videos of the damage to your vehicle.
If a witness saw your accident, ask if they would provide a statement to law enforcement officials and get their contact information. They may be able to testify on your behalf if your case progresses.
It is vital to call the police even when there are no injuries. Wait for them to arrive to give your statement and provide any available details of the other car in case they can track it down.
Once the police officer creates an accident report, ask for a copy. Your insurance company may require a police report as part of your compensation claim.
After the police have finished investigating the accident and you have left the accident scene, contact your insurance company to file your claim. The earlier you call, the more vividly you remember the event. In Wisconsin, an insurance company must settle a claim within 30 days after receiving notice of a covered loss.
You should hire an attorney as quickly as possible to help you with your claim. Your lawyer can identify the vehicle’s registered owner if you or a witness noticed the license plate.
Even if you could not get the license plate number, your attorney can gather crucial evidence, such as witness statements and surveillance footage from local businesses near the accident. These sources can help you identify the driver.
You may be eligible for compensation if you cannot identify or locate the driver. Wisconsin law requires uninsured motorist (UM) coverage for all auto insurance policies.
In accidents involving a phantom motor vehicle, you can receive UM coverage when the vehicle makes no physical contact with the insured and the driver’s identity cannot be discovered. To receive coverage, your auto insurance requires the following actions:
- You must report the accident to the police within 72 hours.
- Another person besides the insured party must confirm that a phantom motor vehicle caused the accident.
- You or your lawyer also need to file a statement under oath with your insurance company, stating that you have a cause of action against the other driver whose identity is unknown.
The minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage required for bodily injury coverage for each person is $25,000 and for each accident is $50,000. As a result, getting more than the minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage is best for dealing financially with the consequences of a hitand-run accident.
Our auto accident lawyers at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you collect evidence to identify the negligent driver and hold them accountable for your losses. If the driver cannot be located, we can help you file a claim through your UM coverage.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with an auto accident lawyer and learn how we can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.