If you were hurt in a hit and run motor vehicle accident, you should not give up hope of receiving compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver who fled the scene. While it will be more difficult to file a claim with their insurance company than if they had stopped as they were required to under Kansas and Missouri traffic laws, you may still be able to locate the motorist.
You need to take steps to build a winning case at the crash scene. While some of the steps are the same as in other motor vehicle accidents, there are others that are unique to hit and run accidents. Here are five important first actions you should take.
#1: Stay at the Scene
You may be tempted to chase after the driver who struck you. However, this could put you in danger. In addition, it could raise questions with their insurance company about if and when the crash occurred. It is best to remain at the scene of your crash.
#2: Call 911
You should call the police from the collision scene. The officer will conduct an investigation and may be able to find the hit and run driver for you. In addition, the police will file a report that will have helpful information, such as the date and time of the crash, how it occurred, statements from witnesses, and their conclusions as to who caused the accident.
#3: Get Prompt Medical Care
You need to be examined by a doctor immediately if you know you were injured and within 48 hours if you do not believe you were hurt or that your injuries are minor. You may not realize you suffered serious injuries until days or weeks after your collision. You protect your health and avoid disputes with the other driver’s insurance company by getting prompt medical care.
#4: Try to Identify the Driver and Collect Evidence
You can increase the likelihood that the police will find the negligent driver if you collect your own evidence and write down any details about the accident right away while it is still fresh in your mind. This will also help you prove their negligence if you do locate them. Here is what you should do:
- Write down any details about the motor vehicle, like its model, make, color, and any part of the license plate number.
- Ask eyewitnesses if they saw anything that could help the police identify the driver. They may have also taken a picture or video with their cellphone camera that could be useful.
- Check with nearby businesses to see if they have video footage of the accident or if there were any witnesses who saw it occur.
- Take pictures of the crash scene, damage to your vehicle, and your injuries. Ask someone to do this for you if you are too hurt to do it.
#5: Retain a Lawyer
You should hire a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash. They can help you try to find the at-fault driver and assist you in filing a claim with their insurance company and your own insurance company if this is necessary.
Were You Injured in a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.