What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run
Updated: Jul 31
Getting in a car accident can be a traumatic event on its own, but to add to the chaos the other person involved in the wreck flees the scene. This crime is commonly known as a “hit and run”, which can be characterized as either a misdemeanor or felony in the United States.
Just imagine, you’re standing next to your busted up car and there’s no one there to point the finger at, what do you do? Luckily, in many cases whoever flees the scene is more or less automatically regarded as being at fault.
However, when it comes time to file a claim with your insurance company, you’re going to want proof.
Immediately following the hit and run, talk to any nearby witnesses and collect as many details as possible about the driver description, vehicle make, model, year, color, license plate and what actually happened.
Take plenty of photos and get copies of any surveillance footage that may have captured the accident. With help from the police, you may be able to identify the other driver.
Don’t forget to call your insurance company right away; typically you must report the incident to your insurance company within 24 hours of the incident.
If you are able to identify the other driver, your insurance company will be able to file a claim against the third party insurance company; If not you’ll have to file a claim against your own insurance plan, which can result in a denied claim or higher future premiums.
For those that live in a state with traditional liability and carry under-insured or uninsured driver insurance you should be covered for your bodily injuries up to the limit of your policy. If you don’t have UIM coverage as part of your policy, you’re likely going to have a difficult time recovering damages for your injuries.
Also, if you have collision coverage, you will have to pay the deductible in order for your car to be repaired or replaced. If you do not have collision coverage, your car will not be repaired or replaced.
Being the victim of a hit and run driver can be an upsetting experience, remember to keep your calm and collect as much information about the accident from passerby’s and Closed Circuit TV’s (CCTV). The more evidence you can acquire, the easier time you’ll have later on with your insurance claim.
AZ Insurance Team
*All policies are a little different and this may not be applicable to your insurance policy, talk to your agent to see what your policy covers.*
*This post was originally published in May, 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness*