A driver who fled the scene of a car accident is surely the irresponsible one in the collision, as they are leaving the victim with their mess to clean up. However, even though the other driver is surely the one in the wrong, you must remain calm and take certain actions to respond to the incident responsibly. Your priority in the minutes after a hit and run is to remember details about the driver and his or her vehicle, along with calling 911 to get help and medical care.
Why would a driver want to risk the repercussions of committing a hit and run accident?
There are several potential reasons why a driver would want to flee the scene of an accident right away, without even surveying the damage. Whatever you do, do not follow the driver, even if you believe you can catch him. If the driver was being chased by the cops, then you can get caught in the pursuit or cause a second accident unintentionally. More lives, including yours, could be adversely impacted if you don’t just remain at the scene and call 911 for help. Here are a list of possible reasons that someone may flee a hit and run accident that they caused:
- The driver doesn’t have a driver’s license
- The driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- The driver has excessive tickets
- The driver is operating their vehicle on a suspended license
- The driver doesn’t have proper insurance
- The driver may have stolen the car
- The driver may have been using a company car and doesn’t want to risk being fired from their job
What am I supposed to do after a hit and run accident?
It is normal to have the urge to drive after the person who hit you and then took off, however, it is highly recommended that you do not. Instead of speeding around and risking your safety further trying to locate the driver, the first thing you should do is remain calm. Make sure that yourself and others in your vehicle are okay before getting out of the car. State law necessitates that all drivers, not just the one who caused the accident, must stay at the scene and get police involved. If your car is in the way of traffic or in an unsafe spot, try to move it toward the side of the road.
What should I do while waiting for the officer to get there?
While waiting for the officer and ambulance to arrive, take this time to gather evidence. Take pictures of your vehicle damage, visible injuries, tire marks on the street, broken glass, street signs, passenger injuries, and anything else that seems relevant at the time. When reporting the accident to your insurance company, the more evidence you have the better. Speak with witnesses and ask them about what they saw, and then see if they are willing to give you their name and contact. Contact a law firm right away to find a car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN that you can speak to about your claim.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and hit and run accidents