Hit-and-run accidents are unfortunate, whether it’s a bump in a parking lot or a runaway driver in an expressway collision. Unfortunately, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads. So what should you do if involved in one?
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit and run accident is when a driver hits another vehicle, an object, or even a person and then leaves the scene. In a hit and run, the driver does not contact law enforcement and does not give aid to anyone who is injured.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Kentucky. Consequently, depending on the facts of the accident — whether it involved simply property damage, physical injury, or death — it may be charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony crime.
What Should I Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Call the police and let them pursue the vehicle. Chasing after the vehicle yourself may damage your car or lead you into getting into another accident.
Gather as much information about the vehicle as possible: make, model, and license plate. Knowing where the car struck your vehicle will help investigators match it with damage to the other vehicle. For example, if the accident happened in a parking lot while you were away, document the location, the damage, and the time the vehicle was in the lot.
Take pictures of your vehicle. Pay particular attention to any paint left by the other vehicle. These clues can be used as evidence, and they will help you when filing an insurance claim.
Check around to find any witnesses who can explain what happened. You or the police will need to collect their names and contact information if they need to be questioned or brought in for testimony.
What should I do after the police report?
Once the police finish their report and you are able to leave the scene, contact your insurer and file a claim. The sooner you call, the better your memory of the incident will be. Try to file a claim the same day as the accident if you can.
Then call Glaser’s Collision Centers. We will help you if you need a tow or just need to set up an appointment for an estimate.
What if they can’t find the person who hit my car?
Your insurance policy might cover the cost after a hit-and-run if you have the right coverage. But the coverage available to you varies by state, and how your policy handles a hit-and-run varies by insurer.
In most states, drivers are required to have liability insurance to cover damages that they cause to other people. However, if the at-fault driver flees the scene or is uninsured, you may be on the hook to pay for the damages to your car.
Having collision coverage and medical payments coverage can help you greatly in this situation. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car, and medical payments coverage pays for your hospital bills after an accident.
Lack of insurance is one reason why a driver might flee the scene of an accident. If you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage, your own insurance company will cover your repair costs if the at-fault driver is uninsured or you don’t know who to file a claim against due to a hit-and-run. In a similar vein, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage can cover your medical expenses.
Take the opportunity now to review your insurance policy with your provider for hit-and-run and car rental insurance in case you are left without a vehicle.