A car accident’s sudden and violent impact can be disorienting. Unfortunately, a driver fleeing the scene can exacerbate severe injuries and property damage. So, the realization that they are facing a hit-and-run situation can leave victims feeling lost and vulnerable.
In California, hit-and-fun fatalities and injuries are on the rise. Drivers leave the scene without rendering assistance or exchanging information with the other party for various reasons. They may be drunk or drugged, or fear the legal and financial consequences.
However, victims can protect their rights by knowing what to do right after the collision.
Navigating the chaos with clarity
The strength of a potential car crash claim often depends on a victim’s actions following the incident.
- Prioritize safety: Check oneself and the passengers for injuries, and seek urgent medical attention. Also, move the vehicle to a safe location that does not obstruct traffic.
- Contact the police: Report every detail to the authorities. They can launch an investigation and prepare a police report with essential information that can help establish the claim.
- Gather evidence: Take photos and videos that can show the extent of the physical and property damage. Try to recall the offender’s car model and license, and the direction they were heading to. Look for potential witnesses who might have had a clear view or angle of the tragedy.
- Notify the insurance company: Inform and coordinate with the insurer. However, be careful not to admit fault or sign any document without legal guidance.
Insurance can cover hit-and-run damage depending on the victim’s existing policy. The state requires minimum liability coverage that drivers can use if they are at fault. So, in the case of a hit-and-run victim, insurance can help in the car repair and replacement through collision coverage. Medical payments coverage can provide financial relief for medical bills. Further, if the victim has personal injury protection coverage, their insurance provider can cover the medical costs regardless of fault.
Overcoming the trauma
The unexpected turn of events caused by a hit-and-run accident can be overwhelming, compounded by the uncertainty of finding the perpetrator. It may be challenging to focus on healing while thinking about how to confront complex legal implications. A legal team can help victims conquer their trauma by guiding them throughout the process and fighting for fair compensation.