Being the victim of a hit-and-run is an extremely stressful experience. In addition to any physical or emotional injuries you sustain, you’ve need to consider the damages done to your vehicle. Given the situation, you may not be able to concentrate and think about all the things you need to do. However, if you know what to do beforehand, you'll be prepared should a hit-and-run occur.

Don't Be a Hero

You should never chase the culprit of a hit-and-run as this can make the situation significantly worse, or even dangerous. Once you have parked and are calm, call the police, even if you don’t have a full description or license plate number. You need them to create a police report that you can use to file an insurance claim. Additionally, they will take any information that you have on the other driver and start looking for them in a way that is safe for everyone involved.

Gather Evidence

In a hit-and-run, it's especially important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Take photos of your car's damage from all angles and pictures of the intersection or location where the accident occurred. However, keep in mind that the quality of the photos is more important than the number, so put in the extra effort to get the best possible photos. You should also get the contact information of anyone who saw the accident.

Take Notes

Write down everything that you can remember, including what happened before and after the collision and any details about the vehicle that hit you. According to Page Law, recording all the information you can remember about the other car is one of the most important things that you can do. If you have a license plate number, that will lend a lot of credibility to your claim, both with police and the insurance company. It also increases the probability of your deductible being reimbursed by your insurer, which means you won't have to bear the cost of any repairs. Should you decide to file a personal injury suit, your chance to receive compensation for damage or injuries will also be a lot better.

Find Witnesses

Unless you were completely alone on the road when the hit-and-run occurred, someone else probably witnesses what happened. If possible, find these witnesses, write down their stories and contact information, as police may want to question them. The more witnesses you have, the stronger your evidence and insurance claim. In addition, a witness may have been able to get a full or partial license plate number, which can be extremely helpful to law enforcement when trying to find the hit-and-run culprit. Your insurer can similarly use this information to recover the cost of your deductible from the responsible party.

When it comes to auto accidents, you can never be fully prepared for what happens. However, by learning the best way to respond, especially in a hit-and-run, will give you the tools to protect yourself and your rights as a driver.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.