You've been involved in a hit-and-run accident. So what should you do?
Unfortunately, hit-and-run car accidents are all too common. Last week, a Minneapolis man was left in the middle of a downtown street with serious injuries after witnesses say a car appeared to deliberately hit him then speed away, the Star Tribune reported.
In the confusion following a hit-and-run crash, it's easy to allow anger or confusion cloud your judgment. But having a plan can help. Here are five first steps to consider if you're the victim of a hit-and-run:
- Call 911. The first step in any car accident, especially one involving injuries, is to call 911. Typically, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime, so police should be notified even if there are no injuries.
- Document evidence. If you have a camera or a cell phone with a camera built-in, take as many pictures as you can of the scene. If there were any witnesses, ask them what they may have seen and get their contact information. This evidence may be helpful in any lawsuit or insurance claim stemming from the accident.
- Obtain the police report. Whenever police respond to an accident or other incident, a police report is generated. You are entitled to receive a copy of this report and can do so by contacting the law enforcement agency that responded.
- Contact your insurance company. You should also contact your insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claim-filing process. Depending on your coverage, however, damages or injuries caused by hit-and-run drivers may not be covered by your policy.
- Consult with an experienced attorney. Schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney to discuss potential legal options. Many car accident attorneys offer free consultations.
While no one ever plans on being a victim, being prepared for the worst can help minimize the harm done and maximize the odds that you will be compensated for your damages and injuries.
- Injured? Exercise your legal rights. Get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area today.
- Police: Pedestrian Critically Injured In Uptown Hit-&-Run (Minneapolis/St. Paul's WCCO-TV)
- 5 Things You Shouldn't Do After a Car Accident (FindLaw's Injured)
- Venice Beach Hit-and-Run Leads to Murder Charge (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Chris Brown's Hit-and-Run Charge May Violate Probation (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)