The Driver Who Hit Me Didn’t Stop. What Can I Do in a Hit-And-Run Scenario?

Your car has been hit, and the other car keeps going before you can gather your wits. You might think you can do nothing in such a case and that your insurance must cover the damage. Fortunately, however, you can gather a lot of evidence to identify the other driver. A skilled, experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through trying to get justice in a hit-and-run accident.

Procedure

If you do not require urgent medical care and are able to do so, these are the steps you should take immediately after the accident:

  1. Contact the police: Call 911. Even if there is minor damage to your car and you don’t feel badly injured, call the police. They can help identify evidence at the scene and prepare a report that you might need for the insurance company or in a court case. 
  2. Write notes of everything you can remember about the other driver: Unfortunately, our memories tend to fade significantly over time when stressed or injured. So, as soon as possible after the accident, jot down as much detail as you can remember about the other car, such as make, model, color, and license plate number if you can catch it. Did you get a look at the other driver? Note as many characteristics as you can remember, such as height, hair color, facial hair, glasses, etc. If there was a traffic light, what color was it at the time of the accident?
  3. Take photographs: Again, only if you can take pictures of everything in the surrounding area of the accident: damage to your car, any skid marks, street signs, traffic signals, weather conditions, etc. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” which is undoubtedly true in a hit-and-run accident. When the police respond, or an accident investigator calls in, your pictures can be an invaluable addition to their reports. 
  4. Talk to any eyewitnesses: Having been the person hit, you might need to learn a lot of the details of what happened. Witnesses who saw the accident can be a great help in building your case. Be sure to get all of their contact information: name, address, phone numbers, email, etc. Again, the police may do this, too, but there might be witnesses who don’t want to or can’t wait around for the police. Make a brief note of what the witness says; the police or accident investigator will take more detailed statements.
  5. Seek medical attention: Even though you might not be hurting at the scene, you could discover an injury at a later date. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after your accident will establish a record that you were indeed involved in an accident, and should need additional care in the future.
  6. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible: Even if you did not cause or contribute to the accident, it is important to notify your insurance company. They can help with, or start, the investigation to prove fault. If the responsible driver is never identified, you might have to file a claim under the uninsured motorist provisions of your insurance policy. Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia all require that drivers carry these provisions.
  7. Contact an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in vehicle accident cases: Only after all the other steps are completed, call a lawyer. Your attorney will know how to help the police and your insurer try to identify the other driver, so you can recover as much as possible.

We are here to help.

At Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC, we will talk to you for free and help you understand your rights, protect you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company, and guide you through this stressful event.

We have decades of experience collecting evidence, assessing information, and proving fault in car accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Northern Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia, we would be happy to discuss how you can get the best outcome in a bad situation. Call us at (571) 532-9070 or online for a free case evaluation. We’re happy to help.