In Florida, there are over 200,000 car accidents each year. When you’re involved in a car accident, it is important for both parties to remain at the scene. The law requires parties to remain on scene. The police must be called and insurance information exchanged between both drivers. What happens when the other driver leaves, though?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, around 25% of all crashes involve a hit-and-run accident. This occurrence has become so problematic that the state agency has launched a “Stay at the Scene” campaign.
In this article, we’ll cover the steps you should take after a hit-and-run accident.
Remain at the Scene and Call the Police
After you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run, it might be tempting to chase after the fleeing driver. It’s understandable that you want them to be held accountable. However, resist that urge and remain at the scene, and call the police. The accident report that you give the police will be vital in helping them find the hit-and-run driver, not to mention your insurance claim.
Gather Pertinent Information and Evidence
There are many types of car accidents and with each one, it is important to document as much evidence as possible. You should take notes of the accident, including every minor detail you can think of. Take pictures of the accident scene, as well as any damage to your vehicle. You will also want to try and recall a description of the hit-and-run driver and their car.
Include the make, model, and color of the vehicle. Other helpful details might include bumper stickers on their vehicle, or where their own vehicle might show signs of damage from the wreck. If there were any witnesses standing nearby when the accident happened, request that they remain to talk with the police. Eyewitness testimonials are valuable evidence from a neutral third party.
Also, for any responding police officers, take down their name and badge number. You will want to obtain a copy of the police report when it’s finished and having their contact info will make this easier.
Receive Medical Care
If you feel sore and suspect you are injured from the car accident, seek medical assistance help from first responders. If there is a legal case later, medical records will help to link your injuries to the accident. By documenting your injuries, you’ll be able to prove in a personal injury lawsuit that you deserve compensation.
Call Your Insurance Company
Last, you must call your auto insurance provider. Inform them that it was a hit-and-run. Your plan might include some form of auto accident help. Also, be aware that your insurance company might possibly raise your premiums, even if it’s determined the accident wasn’t your fault.
Stay Calm After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you’re ever in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to maintain your composure. Keep a level head and focus on gathering information and documenting evidence. This will help you in the long term.
If you’ve suffered an injury from a hit-and-run in the Pensacola area of Florida, our Pensacola car accident lawyers are here to help. Contact us today to consult with our lawyers.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.