Chances are, you will be in at least one car accident in your lifetime—and unfortunately, millions of other travelers will be injured every year, whether in crashes as motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. The hope is that it won’t be a serious one and that you will escape without property damage or physical damage. Unfortunately, when metal collides with metal, there can be significant damage to property—and to human lives—especially if you are traveling in a car or an SUV and are hit due to the negligence of another driver in a semi- or 18-wheeler.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, the situation becomes much worse. This could put you at odds with having your claim paid, so it is important to know what to do, including consulting with an experienced injury attorney right away. All motorists should understand what steps to take after any car accident, beginning with the basics if you or anyone else has been injured.
- It is critical to call 911 as soon as possible to get help on the way expediently. If you are injured, and about to be taken away in an ambulance, you may have trouble gathering details. In that case, if you are conscious, it is time to call for help to help you preserve any evidence at the scene of the crime—whether you can call for legal help at that moment or ask another passenger or friend or family member to assist.
- If you are not incapacitated due to physical injuries at the time of the crash, try to remember everything about the accident and write it down immediately. You want as many details as possible about the other car, such as the make and model and color, and any license plate information and description of the individual making their getaway.
- If there were other individuals on the scene, contact them, and inquire about how much they witnessed. Although it may seem awkward to approach others, and even more difficult when you have just dealt with the ordeal of a terrifying car accident, the scene of the accident is probably the only time you will see or be able to talk to any witnesses unless the hit-and-run accident occurred in your neighborhood. In that event there is a possibility that you might even know the driver. When speaking to witnesses, write down all their information, and always ask for a work phone number too.
- Document the scene as much as possible with your smartphone, especially noting whether or not there is any paint from the other car left on yours, skid-marks on the road, or any type of evidence left behind such as pieces or parts that may have fallen off the other vehicle at the time of the collision. Document all damage to your car with photos, as well as any visible injuries to yourself. If you can, take pictures of the street, the intersection, and even traffic signal and sign areas.
- A police report should almost always be filed when there is a car accident, and especially when there is a criminal activity like a hit and run. This type of claim should be paid out by your insurer, but do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney like Andrew ‘Pike’ Piekalkiewicz, PLLC as soon as possible. It is in your best interest to have your attorney speak with the insurance adjusters and handle every detail possible until your claim is paid.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, please call the law offices of Andrew ‘Pike’ Piekalkiewicz, PLLC as soon as possible at (713) 748-7453 or visit AttorneySgtPike for a no obligation case review.