How to handle a hit and run accident

It is not fun to be the victim of a hit and run accident. A hit and run can refer to an auto collision in which one driver flees the scene or a situation where someone hits your car while it is unattended and they leave no contact info. There are still steps you can take to protect yourself financially and pursue a claim though.

Here's what you should do if this happens:

1. Write down the license plate.

If you see who hit you, try to get their license plate number before they flee the scene. This will allow police to find the person responsible. If you are not able to spot their license, write down the make, model and color of their car. Any bit of information you have helps.

2. Call the police and record the time.

Just like a regular accident, you need a report on file about what happened. Give the officer as much detail as you can remember about how it happened or how you found your car, but do not try to argue about fault. Record the date and time you were hit or found your car damaged.

3. Take plenty of photos.

Take as many photos as you can from various angles and distances. Capture the full extent of the damage. If paint from the other vehicle is visible where your car was hit, photograph it. This is a critical step in filing a claim for a hit and run.

4. Get witness information.

Ask for the names and contact information of people who may have seen the hit and run. Police should also gather witness information from the scene. It can be valuable later to show that others saw what happened.

5. Seek legal advice.

Filing a claim for an accident can be tricky business. Hit and run accidents need to be handled especially carefully. Insurance companies may think you are attempting fraud by damaging your own car for compensation, so an attorney can help you prove you were a victim of a hit and run. You deserve to be compensated for any damages, so make sure you go into the situation prepared. Consult a knowledgeable lawyer who has handled these cases before and knows how to deal with insurers.

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