Hit and run: dos and don’ts

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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A hit and run is never a pleasant thing to experience. At such a time, it’s easy to lose your cool and do something rash. But this type of behavior often only succeeds in making the situation worse. It is important to take stock of the situation calmly and assess the damage done. Finally, it may be vital to get in touch with an attorney.

But before getting to the court case, let’s talk about how you should handle the immediate aftermath of the accident. It is a wise policy to pull over next to the other car and exchange information with the other driver. In some cases, particularly when it is the other driver’s fault, he or she may attempt to flee the scene. Try your best to note down the license plate number, or get a picture of the plate on your smartphone.

Call the police as soon as possible to report the accident, along with a full description of the car, its occupants and the license number you were able to record. Once the police arrive, provide them with a full and clear account of the incident, and try to convince passersby who saw the accident to include their account as well. Once the police are done questioning you, call your insurance company to report the accident.

Now let’s talk about what not to do. It’s always a bad idea to get into a negative confrontation with the other driver. Do not block traffic with your car while waiting for the police. Instead, take your car to the side and park it somewhere safe and out of the way. It would also be a bad idea to try to flee the scene, since traffic cameras can record your escape and make things far worse for you during a trial. Do not own and drive a car without taking out a property insurance to protect against such type of accidents.

Even if you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to get compensation if the court decides you are the victim of the accident. If you’ve been involved in a crash, contacting an attorney may be the best course of action.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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