7 Things to Do After a Hit-And-Run in Philadelphia

What Should You Do After a Philadelphia Hit-And-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run accident can cause serious upheaval in your life. You may wonder how you will pay for vehicle repair or replacement, medical expenses, or lost wages. Ideally, the hit-and-run driver will be identified and caught so you can file a claim with their insurer. Unfortunately, not all perpetrators of this crime are apprehended, and even those who are may not have car insurance. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may still have options for recovering damages in these circumstances, such as underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.

It can be very frustrating to deal with the aftermath of a hit-and-run, particularly if your insurer is not cooperative. However, taking the following seven steps after a Pennsylvania hit-and-run accident may help support your case and protect your health and legal rights.

Assess the Situation

Even though a hit-and-run accident can be frightening, it is essential to stay calm. Assess your injuries and safety and call emergency services if needed. Also, check the well-being of your passengers and others involved in the accident to see if they require medical assistance. Stay at the scene and do not try to track down the hit-and-run driver on your own, as this could put you in greater danger and delay important medical treatment.

If you are driving a vehicle, you should attempt to get out of harm’s way by pulling to the side of the road or carefully exiting the car. If you are a pedestrian or biker who has been struck, try to move your vehicle off the roadway. This action can prevent further crashes and injuries. However, you should not move yourself or another victim if you suspect neck or spine injuries because it could lead to paralyzation. In these situations, call 911 immediately.

Get Medical Attention

Even if you do not appear to have serious injuries after a hit-and-run, it is vital to seek prompt medical attention. The forces inflicted on the body during a crash can cause internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, or other life-threatening conditions. Still, victims may not feel symptoms immediately due to adrenaline. Getting a medical evaluation not only protects your health, but also creates a record of your injuries and clearly ties them to the accident.

Record Information About the Crash

Accident scenes are often cleaned up quickly, and critical information may be lost during the process. People also tend to forget details as time passes after an accident. To ensure you have the most complete account of the events, write down or make a voice recording of everything you can recall about the crash as soon as possible. Your memory of the accident could prove crucial to law enforcement and may lead to the apprehension of the hit-and-run driver. Helpful information may include:

  • Descriptions of the other car, including color, make, model, unusual or distinguishing characteristics, the direction of travel, and license plate number.
  • A description of the driver.
  • Your recollection of the accident, including when it happened, the cause, and the exact location.

Photos and video can show details of the accident scene. Take pictures from many different angles, and be sure to record the damage to your vehicle or bicycle, including any paint transfer. If you cannot take photos due to injury, call a friend or family member to capture the scene or contact a Philadelphia car accident attorney who can begin an immediate investigation.

Gather Contact Info From Witnesses

Eyewitnesses of the crash can also provide important details about the accident and the identity of the hit-and-run driver. If you are able, record the name, address, and phone number of anyone present at the time of the accident. Encourage witnesses to stay until police arrive to investigate the crash.

File a Police Report

Do not hesitate to call the police immediately in the event of a hit-and-run. It is a crime to leave the scene of a Pennsylvania accident that results in injury or death. Even if the crash only results in property damage, it is a driver’s duty to provide their contact information, insurance card, and license to the other party. The police should come to investigate the accident and compile a report. Be sure to ask how to receive a copy of the police report because your insurance provider may request it.

If you were driving a vehicle that was struck during a hit-and-run and the police could not respond to your accident, you may fill out an official PennDOT accident report to record all the crash details. PennDOT will not investigate the accident. However, a copy of the filed report can provide useful information when you make a claim with your insurer.

Call Your Insurance Provider

Insurance providers require you to inform them of an accident within a specified time frame, which may be as short as 24 hours. To protect your right to file a claim, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible after the hit-and-run.

However, be cautious about making any statements to an adjuster without consulting a lawyer first. A skilled lawyer can advise you on what to say to protect your ability to collect full compensation for your damages.

Contact a Trusted Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Accidents of any type are terrifying and stressful, but it can feel truly overwhelming when you are left to deal with the repercussions on your own. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can handle all aspects of your hit-and-run claim so you can focus on your recovery. The dedicated lawyers at Villari, Giannone & Matteo P.C. will uphold your rights and work tirelessly for the best possible outcome in your case. If you need assistance following a Philadelphia hit-and-run accident, contact our law firm today at 610-609-8477 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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