Being involved in a hit and run accident is one of the scariest things that can happen to any driver. Accidents are stressful enough to begin with, let alone when the responsible party flees the scene without making sure you’re okay or sharing any insurance information.
Unfortunately, hit and runs aren’t just about the scariness involved. Once the dust has settled, you still need to file a car insurance claim. Knowing what to do following a hit and run accident can be difficult, as you’ll likely still be dealing with the stress and adrenaline from the accident. Giving some thought ahead of time to handling a hit and run situation, and file an insurance claim, can help make it a lot easier if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
What to do immediately following a hit and run accident
If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, the first thing you obviously need to do is make sure that you and any passengers in your car are okay. Your safety is the most important thing. If you’re not injured, however, then it’s already time to start thinking about filing a car insurance claim.
The most important thing to remember is that you should never chase after the vehicle that hit you, no matter how angry you are. Chasing after another driver can lead to even more dangerous situations, and you can drive recklessly and create further insurance claims. Instead, stay at the scene of the crash and gather as much information as you can.
If you have the chance to take a picture of the car that hit you before it leaves, do so. If not, try and note the license plate number. If you’re unable to catch the plate number, then note what type of vehicle it was, what color the car was, and any other descriptive details. As soon as you get the chance, write down all of this information, so you don’t forget it later on.
Next, call the police. Filing a report with the police dramatically improves your chances of having the driver caught, which can help you get valuable insurance information. While you wait for the police, see if there are any witnesses who saw the accident transpire, and get information from them.
How to file a hit and run claim
After you’ve gotten your vehicle safely home or to an auto shop, it’s time to file your hit and run accident claim. The process for filing a hit and run claim is the same as for any other kind of claim, so you can proceed as usual. The result, however, may be a little different.
If you were able to get enough information about the vehicle that hit you, your insurance company may be able to contact the guilty party’s insurance provider, in which case the coverage will be handled the same as it would with a standard accident.
If you are unable to track down the guilty party, or they are uninsured, then things get a bit trickier. Depending on your region and your insurance provider, you may need to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in order to have your vehicle repair costs covered, or it may be taken care of simply with collision coverage. Some areas and insurance companies will even waive your deductible in the event of a hit and run.
If the police catch the person responsible for the accident, you will always have the option of suing them for any damage that you had to pay for.
A hit and run accident is very scary, and filing a car insurance claim is very important when such an accident occurs. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be a big deal to file a hit and run car insurance claim, and there’s a good chance that you’ll get all your repair costs covered.