Getting into a hit and run car accident can be scary. It’s usually fast, sudden, and shocking. Even though leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, many motorists are forced to file a hit & run insurance claim with their auto insurance policy provider.
But does car insurance cover hit and run accidents? What should you do if you are victim of a hit and run? What steps should you take to make sure you’re protected and the perpetrator gets hit and run charges on their record? By following these simple steps, you can better absorb this panicky scenario and resolve this situation the best way possible.
Pull Over Safely
After your car gets hit, try not to panic. Pull over to a safe spot and take a slow, deep breath to calm yourself. While it is natural to be startled after being struck, being panicked can distract you from the rest of the traffic on the road. This could cause you to possibly collide with other drivers, property, or worse. It’s best to get out of the flow of traffic in order to get your bearings. Check yourself and anyone else that is in the vehicle for injury. If anyone is seriously hurt, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance.
Once Parked, Call the Police
Once you are parked and safely out of traffic, call the police immediately. It is important to file an accident report to the police for two reasons. First, it will get the police involved and assist in finding the culprit who hit you. Secondly, when you file with your insurance company, you will need to have an accident report on file with the police department in order for them to process your hit and run insurance claim.
Collect, Record, and Remember as Much Information as Possible
As you are calling the police, try to gather and remember as much information as you can about the hit and run accident and the car involved. Some important info that could help the police and insurance company to help find the perpetrator and provide evidence for your claim includes:
- The color, make, and model of the car that hit you
- The license plate number of the car that hit you
- The direction where the vehicle headed when it fled the scene
- Location and time of the accident
- Cause of the accident
- Description of damage done to the other vehicle
- Photos of the damage done to your car
- Photos at the scene of the accident
Do your best to record all this information down for the police. If you have a smartphone, use it to write down notes of details you remember and to take photos of your vehicle’s damage. If you don’t have a smartphone, write information down on paper, a napkin, or whatever you can find. You’re less likely to forget any of these details if you jot them down immediately. Even if you cannot recall every detail, every little bit helps your case and your claim.
As police are on their way, check around to see if there were any witnesses to the hit and run accident. While the police and insurance company will need your report, having some witnesses give their account to the police can further help them find the offender while simultaneously helping you validate your claim with your insurance company. Make sure that if there are any witnesses that you get their names and contact information so they can be included in your police report and insurance claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve made your police report and have gathered up as much information as you can, contact your insurer to file a claim under your auto insurance policy. The quicker you do this, the quicker they can investigate and look into your claim. Your insurance company may need additional information from you, so calling them when your mind is fresh from the accident can help them with some details.
What happens after that depends on your situation and your auto insurance policy. If the police have found the offender, you will have to file an insurance claim with their insurance company. But if the offender is uninsured, you can take the person to court for damages. When the offender is underinsured or isn’t found, you should file a hit and run insurance claim with your insurance provider.
Most of the time, uninsured motorist coverage should cover medical expenses and damage as a result from hit and run accidents. In fact, some states require that you have uninsured motorist coverage. There are also some states where insurers will waive the deductible if you file a hit and run insurance claim.
In any case, it is important to know your auto insurance policy. Talk to your insurance agent to see what they will do in the event of a hit and run accident. This can help you rest easy and know what to expect in case you’re a victim of a hit and run.
If you are looking for an auto insurance policy to assist you in case of a hit and run accident, you’ve come to the right place. Freeway Insurance collects rates from the top insurers in the nation to find the plan that best fits your needs at a low price. Call today at (800) 777-562o to speak with an experienced agent or get your free car insurance quote online today!