Few things can ruin your day like a hit and run accident in Sitka. The experience can leave you feeling disoriented.
In the moments after getting hit, the first thing you try to do is gain your composure back. You check to make sure that you and your passengers are safe. As you step out of the vehicle to get the other driver’s information, you see their car speeding off.
Strong emotions are at play. However, the way you react in the next few moments can be the difference between protecting yourself financially and physically or making a bad situation worse. Here are some details to consider in the aftermath of a hit and run accident.
Defining Hit and Run
A hit and run accident is where one party flees the scene of the accident. It doesn’t matter if it is a major crash or a minor fender bender. Depending on your location, a hit and run carries penalties, ranging from fines to time in jail.
Although there are severe penalties for hit and run accidents, some drivers still opt to flee because they don’t have car insurance, they are engaging in illegal activities, they are driving a stolen vehicle, or they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. They calculate that fleeing the scene is better than facing criminal charges.
What Should You Do in the Aftermath of a Hit and Run?
Similar to other accidents, you should take some basic steps after a hit and run. First, try to document as much of the accident as you can. This helps you protect yourself and your vehicle.
Emotions run high. However, try to stay as calm as possible and think with a clear head. This means staying put at the accident scene. Don’t chase after the other driver. If possible, move your car to a safe space off the road after ensuring that your passengers do not require medical attention.
It might be best for you to turn off the vehicle and stay outside of the car during winter and warm months. This way, you protect yourself from fires or fluid spills that happen due to the accident.
Look for witnesses. Regardless of where they happen or how they happen, car accidents attract attention. Once you are safe, find witnesses who can confirm what happened. Contact Sitka law enforcement. The authorities can help you investigate the incident and file the necessary paperwork.
Use your cell phone camera to take pictures. This includes photographic evidence of the damage from various angles. During warm months, you may be able to get photos of skid marks. During cold winter months, you may be able to get pictures of tire tracks left in the snow. You should have close-ups and far-away shots.
Finally, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent. Your insurance agent will provide steps on what you should do next. They can walk you through how to file a claim.
Protect Yourself in the Aftermath of a Hit and Run Accident
Hit and run accidents are frustrating because the other party does not accept the incident’s responsibility. You can protect yourself by documenting everything, taking photographs, finding witnesses, calling law enforcement, and working with your insurance company to obtain the needed compensation. BP Injury can help you.
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