Hit and run accidents often leave a devastating impact that can have physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the victim. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a hit and run accident in Texas or anywhere in the United States, here are five steps that an injured party should take immediately following the accident:
1. Call the Police to Report Your Dallas Car Accident
Anytime that an accident occurs – hit and run or otherwise – you need to call the police to report the accident. If the other vehicle sustained damages, or if you can recall the make, model, or license plate number, the police can help you to track down the dangerous driver. The police will also draft an accident report, which you should ask for a copy of. A copy of the accident report may help you when trying to recover damages later.
2. Seek Medical Treatment Following Your Dallas Car Wreck
If you have been injured in an accident, you need to seek medical treatment immediately. If your injuries are severe, then seeking medical treatment before speaking with the police may be a necessity. Following medical treatment, make sure you keep a thorough record of all treatment administered, as well as associated costs. Additionally, make sure you report the medical treatment and any injuries to your insurance agent.
3. Talk to Witnesses and Gather Evidence About Your Car Accident in Dallas
If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run accident, then it’s a good idea to talk to witnesses if able or at least try to make certain that the crime scene witnesses remain on scene to issue a report for the police. Gathering evidence such as photos can be essential to recovering any damages, but you are not a detective and your first priority following an accident you’ve been injured in is your health. The police will ask witnesses if they can recall anything about the accident, including the make or model of the other vehicle involved the description of the driver, how the accident happened, license plate numbers, and more. Never understate your injuries or damages as you need law enforcement to execute a full and thorough investigation. You should also record personal memories from the accident in a notebook – the details may be essential when you speak with your insurance agent and trauma will often lead to varying recollection of events. A consistent, honest story should be documented to ensure your credibility is never called into question.
4. Call Your Insurance Agent to Alert Them of Your Accident
Texas is an at-fault insurance state. In an at-fault state, each driver is responsible for paying for the accidents that they cause. If the accident was a hit and run and the other driver can’t be found, this may be a problem for you in the collection of damages and you need to approach conversations with your insurance agency delicately. If you have purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy, then you may be able to recover damages for your accident. Talk with your insurance agent as soon as possible following an accident, and review your policy, but consider only doing so following step 5, contacting an attorney.
5. Call an Attorney
If you cannot locate the other driver, and you are badly injured then the responsibility of covering your damages will either fall on you or your insurance company. Insurance agents may not always be your ally in these difficult times as their job is to avoid the insurance company having to absorb the financial burden of your damages. Everything you say to them will be on record and have a potential impact on your ability to collect damages. If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident then it’s important that you immediately contact an auto accident attorney. At Tate Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys can help answer your medical care questions, gather evidence, track down the other driver, negotiate with your insurance company, and explore other recovery options. Our attorneys will help you through the process of your crime scene interviews as well as your insurance company communication. If you’ve been in a hit and run accident, don’t leave your recovery options up to chance by tackling this process alone – contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., today for a free case review.