California traffic can be brutal. Drivers in a hurry to get where they are going, are frustrated by the traffic, and may drive recklessly as they weave in and out of traffic to “get ahead” of other drivers. This creates a dangerous situation that can easily cause an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law. You must stop if you are involved in a vehicle accident.
Most drivers obey the law and stop if they cause an accident; however, there are some drivers who refuse to stop to take responsibility for causing a car accident. If you are injured by a hit and run driver, knowing what to do immediately following the crash is important. Below is a checklist with some helpful steps to take if you are involved in a hit and run accident.
Hit and Run Accident Checklist
- Don’t Panic – It is easy to panic when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, especially when the driver who caused the accident flees the scene. Try to remain calm so you can take the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
- Call for Help – Call 911 immediately to report the accident. Let the dispatcher know you have been hit by a hit-and-run driver and you need the police. If you are injured, request emergency medical assistance.
- Write Down Information – While you are waiting for the police, write down all of the details that you can remember. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths can help you stay calm so you can focus on what happened. Any detail, regardless of how small, may help identify the hit and run driver.
- Identify Witnesses – If anyone witnessed the accident, gather as much information as you can from the witnesses including their names and contact information. Ask them if they have a description of the vehicle and/or the driver. Note any details the witnesses can provide. Some witnesses may leave before police arrive; therefore, act quickly if you can to speak with any eyewitnesses to your hit and run accident.
- Seek Medical Attention – Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, you should still be checked by your physician. Some injuries may not be immediately visible or noticeable. Being checked by a doctor as soon as possible after a hit and run accident is in your best interest for your health and for your accident claim.
- Report the Accident – Report the accident to the California DMV and to your insurance company.
- Contact an Attorney – Even though this is a hit and run accident, you may be able to collect compensation from your insurance company depending on your insurance coverage. Even though you are dealing with your own automobile insurance company, you still should consult a car accident attorney. Your insurance company is like all other insurance companies — it will protect its interest first. You need an attorney to ensure your rights and interests are protected in a hit and run accident.
Contact a Fresno, CA Hit and Run Accident Attorney
You do not need to bear the financial burden of a hit and run driver by yourself. You may have insurance coverage that will pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Our Fresno injury attorneys can review your insurance coverage to determine the compensation you may be entitled to receive for your injuries.
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident in Fresno, CA or the surrounding Central California Valley area, call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.