What Can You Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there was a reportable auto accident in the state every 56 seconds in 2019. Many auto collisions and pedestrian accidents involve a driver fleeing the scene without rendering aid or exchanging information with the other party.
If you have been injured as a result of a hit-and-run accident, your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries or to hold the liable party responsible became a lot more complex. However, skilled Longview, TX, car accident attorney Randy Akin can help you understand your options. He can also provide assistance in keeping your claim alive while you wait for police to locate the driver.
Why Hit-and-Run Cases are Complex
Insurance is often used to compensate victims of injury accidents and the surviving loved ones of those killed in a fatal crash. However, in order to file a claim against an at-fault driver's auto liability insurance policy, you must have the driver's name, license plate number, or other identifying vehicle information, as well as the name of their insurance carrier and policy. Without knowing the identity of the driver, you cannot file a claim.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Claim After a Hit-and-Run
Accidents involving hit-and-run drivers are vulnerable cases, waiting for resolution. Fortunately, security footage is readily available in many places, including busy intersections and even doorbell cameras in residential areas. Additionally, there are many avenues for police to use to get the description of fleeing drivers out to the public, including on social media or with press releases to local news stations.
While you are waiting for law enforcement in Longview to work the case, there are several actions you can take to ensure that your claim remains viable and ready to be found as soon as the driver is identified. Here are some things you can do after a hit-and-run accident.
Contact Law Enforcement Immediately
Texas law requires drivers who are involved in accidents where someone is injured or killed to immediately stop their vehicle at the scene or as close to it as possible, render reasonable aid to those who have been injured until emergency workers arrive on the scene, and exchange information with the other driver. The information that the drivers must exchange includes:
- Contact information
- Make, model, year, and color of the vehicles involved
- Vehicle registration number
- Driver's license and license plate numbers
- Insurance carrier and policy number
In spite of the other driver fleeing the scene, you are still required to report the accident and wait at the scene until authorities arrive to investigate.
Write Down What You Remember
Did you happen to see part of the license plate number for the vehicle that hit you? Did you notice the color of the vehicle, the model, or even what type of vehicle (sedan, SUV, etc.) was involved in the accident? Whatever details you have about the other vehicle involved should be written down at the scene while they are still fresh in your mind.
Obtain Contact Information For Witnesses
Witnesses can offer tremendous assistance when it comes to locating hit-and-run drivers. Anyone who was at the scene or witnessed the accident or the other driver fleeing should be spoken to by the police. Your car accident attorney will likely want to speak with them, as well. Be sure to obtain their names and contact information, along with a brief description of what they witnessed.
Speak with Business Owners in the Area
As mentioned, you'd be hard-pressed to find many areas in Longview where there aren't some type of surveillance cameras in use, whether by businesses or residents. Ask area business owners if they happened to have their cameras running during the accident. If so, ask them to please hang onto the footage as it can be very helpful to the police officers investigating the scene.
Contact a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run, one of the most important things you can do for your claim is to seek the guidance of an experienced accident attorney. For a free case evaluation, contact our law firm by filling out our online form. You can also reach us by phone at (903) 297-8929.