A Sacramento car accident is traumatic as it is dangerous. However, if another motorist, who’s presumably is at fault, speeds away without exchanging information, what should you do?
After a car accident like a hit and run, remain at the scene and take proactive steps to help your claim and benefit your settlement action or court case.
You may instinctively want to chase the perpetrator after a car wreck or collision but don’t. It could place you and your passenger in greater danger and compromise your legal action.
Bad things can happen during a vehicle chase
You could break numerous traffic laws during a pursuit:
- You would be fleeing the scene of an accident
- You may run a red light, or be ticketed for reckless driving, or speeding, to name of few infractions
- Your actions could endanger other motorists, create another car accident or cause severe injury
Don’t leave the scene and call 911
It is unlawful to leave the scene of an automobile crash, so don’t go anywhere until the police arrive.
After checking yourself and your passengers for minor or severe injuries and determining whether they need medical attention or not after the accident, call 911. Once aid is on the way, jot down details you remember about the other party. Was the driver driving under the influence? Did he/she run a red light or was asleep behind the wheel? Did you spot seat belts in the car? What was the color, model, make and license plate number of the vehicle?
The answers can give the police leads they can use to find the perpetrator quickly so that he/she can be held responsible for their actions.
Ask Around For Witnesses
Claims adjusters have one job – to make the insurance claims process as difficult as possible for victims of automobile accidents. They can’t do much if you have witnesses backing your account. If you do find a fellow motorist willing to come forward after the auto accident, record their contact information, maybe get their business card and their account of the incident. It will prove very useful in either a small settlement or even a wrongful death claim in case the accident resulted in fatalities.
If your smartphone did not get damaged in the accident, take pictures of the scene of the crime. Cover vehicle damage (inside and out) and especially the areas where the car hit your vehicle. If found the other party’s car may retain the paint that chipped off from yours, which will help prove their involvement and guilt.
Keep in mind that the hit and run accident has to be reported to the police within 24 hours to be considered valid, especially fatal car accidents. If the police tell you that the damage is too minor to report, make sure that you take down the officer’s badge number and name so your accident lawyer can follow up. If on the other hand, the police will not come to the scene because the car accident is too minor, go to the police station and report the incident in person.
Depending on the city where the accident occured you may also be able to file an online police report. For example the City of Sacramento Police department allows you to easily file a hit and run police report online as the does the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Do an online search to see if your city offers an online police report filing system.
If the perpetrator is an uninsured motorist, he/she may try to blame you to avoid paying out of pocket. Even if that is the case, you should ask your auto accident lawyer about seeking a car accident lawsuit against them. As per injury law, they are responsible for your medical bills for serious bodily injury, you or your passengers sustained because of their negligence. If you fail to report the accident, the incident can be considered a not-at-fault-loss by your insurer. The result could affect your car insurance premiums.
Get legal guidance
You shouldn’t delay taking action because the statute of limitations on the charges will run out. Receiving compensation for medical expenses, economic damages, lost income, and other aspects so that the other party can be held accountable may be lost entirely.
To file a lawsuit regarding a hit and run and to ensure the reckless and negligent driver is held responsible, you need to hire an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hit and run because of a negligent driver, get in touch with our auto accident lawyers today. The law firm of Phoong Law Corp can file a lawsuit on your behalf to recover from the pain and suffering you are going through whether it’s due to the traumatic brain injury, whiplash and other injuries that resulted from the accident by ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.