5 Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
It’s already a nightmare to get hit by another driver on the road, especially when you did nothing wrong. You may be reeling after the crash, trying to pull over to the side of the road, or just making sure your passengers are safe, when you notice that the other driver who caused the crash isn’t pulling over at all, but is just driving away. Here are some steps you should take after a hit and run crash in New York.
- Grab your phone and take photos: If at all possible, try and grab a photo of the car that hit you as it drives away. Even if you don’t get a clear photo of the car’s license plate, you’ll have evidence of the type of car that hit you, so that police know what car they’re looking for, as well as any identifying marks on that car. Take photos of the accident scene, as well, for use in a future investigation and possible lawsuit.
- Call the police and have a report made: It is a crime in New York State to leave the scene of an accident where property damage was caused, and an even more serious crime to leave the scene when a person has been injured in a crash, without exchanging personal information. Immediately call the police to report the crime and to have a police report made of the accident. Your insurance company will need to see a police report in order to pay out your
- Speak with eyewitnesses: If you’re physically able, speak with any bystanders to get their account of what happened. More importantly, obtain their name and contact information, so that your insurer or attorney can speak with them in the future.
- Report the accident to your car insurer: It is crucial that you report a hit-and-run crash as soon as possible to your insurer, so that they can begin to investigate the claim. Fortunately, all drivers in New York are required to have uninsured/unknown motorist insurance coverage, so you should be able to collect at least something for your injuries even without the other driver’s participation.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible: Evidence of an accident can begin to decay from the scene or fade from witnesses’ memories quickly. Additionally, experienced car accident attorneys have investigative techniques to find hit-and-run perpetrators, but the sooner they can begin the hunt, the better. If you believe you incurred serious physical or economic damages from the accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible so that they can begin to compose a case.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in the Hudson Valley area, contact the knowledgeable and determined personal injury attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello LLP for a consultation on your claims.