Being in a hit and run accident can be a very frightening event. Being prepared to know how to handle the situation when it occurs will help you deal with the shock of it, as well as ensure you are covered for the loss when it does happen. While hit and run accidents will happen to almost every driver, whether their car is parked and unattended, or while they’re driving, knowing these things will help you deal with the unfortunate situation.
Safely park your vehicle: If you happen to be driving when the accident occurs, safely pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. If possible, carefully write down the license plate and description of the vehicle that struck you. This will aid police in locating the driver. Often time, your vehicle will be struck in a parking lot while unattended. In the event this happens, look for any signs of the other vehicle. Is their paint transfer that would indicate the color of the vehicle? Is there a note on your windshield? Are their security cameras such as at the gas station?
Assess any Injuries: If someone is injured, take care of their immediate needs and quickly call 911. It is typical to be jittery after such an event so catch your breath too.
Call police: Once you’re safely parked, you’ll need to get a police report. Many police stations will not respond if there are no injuries, so you’ll want to still turn in a police report for the incident. Many insurance companies will require this documentation in order to use your UMPD (uninsured motorist property damage) insurance coverage.
Gather any witness information: If anyone is standing there and offers you their statement, jot down their phone number and name. Your insurance company will want to talk with any witness to the accident.
Call insurance company: Sometimes even though vehicles collide, the damages may be limited, so you’ll want to take a close look and determine if you want to pursue a claim. While hit and run accidents may be a scary encounter, they may not require body work to your vehicle. Also keep in mind that if you don’t carry the correct coverages for hit and run (often times referred to as uninsured motorist property damage) your claim will be handled under a collision loss. Deductibles will likely apply in both cases.
While we hope you never have to experience a hit and run accident, being prepared will help you tackle the unfortunate situation.
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