The legal definition of a hit and run car accident is one in which one driver hits another with his or her vehicle and then flees the scene. Hitting a pedestrian, a fixed object, or a parked car and not stopping to render aid or leave contact information also falls under the category of a hit and run accident. Being the victim in such a scenario can be both frustrating and frightening. This is especially true when you sustained injuries in the accident and are unable to hold the other party legally and financially responsible.
How to Respond to a Hit and Run Accident
No one likes to think that they will be a victim of this type of irresponsible behavior. So it can certainly be shocking if it happens to you. It’s understandable that you feel angry and confused. However, staying in control of your emotions will help your case. This is because it enables you to gather as much information as possible.
If another driver strikes your vehicle and then speeds off, try to form a mental image in your mind of what the car looks like. If you see the license plate number, repeat it out loud several times until you have the opportunity to write it down. Having even a vague idea of the make and model of the car can help the police and your insurance company in their investigation. It’s also a good idea to make a note of your surroundings. Whether you’re in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Woodbury, or another location where the accident occurred. This can include cross streets and notable landmarks for starters.
It’s also important to jot down important details before leaving the scene of the accident. This includes the date and time of the accident, weather conditions, and the condition of your vehicle after incurring damage from the hit and run driver. Because it will likely come down to a case of your word against the other driver’s if the police locate him or her, it’s essential to document the damage with pictures. If you don’t have a camera immediately available, call someone who can bring one to you.
If you discover someone struck your car while in a parking lot, write down the time you noticed the damage, the extent of the damage, and the date. You should also take pictures and provide this information to your insurance company.
Dealing with the Police and Your Insurance Carrier
Even if you don’t have much information on the other car or driver, you should file a police report anyway. This acts as an official document of the event and has information you may need to call upon later, such as the names of witnesses. When you call to report the accident, the police will question any witnesses and obtain their contact information.
When you’re unable to locate the other driver, you will need to file a claim with your own insurance company under the uninsured motorist provision. If you do eventually track down the other driver, your insurance company will demand reimbursement from his or her insurance carrier. It’s best to have legal counsel at this point as the case can become complicated when the driver is uninsured or under-insured.
Get Help with Your Car Accident Hit and Run Case from Sand Law, LLC
Unfortunately, you may find your own insurance company less than helpful in paying for physical damages, medical expenses, and other costs associated with your hit and run accident. Additionally, police in the Twin Cities may not have the time or resources to track down the person who hit you or your vehicle and left the scene.