What To Do After A Hit-and-Run Accident in Phoenix
All accidents are unnerving, but hit-and-run accidents can leave motorists feeling unsure about the next steps. Without another driver present, how will you exchange insurance or hold the at-fault driver accountable?
While you may feel tempted to go after the offender yourself, here are the steps you should take after a hit and run incident:
- Look for information about the other driver. During and immediately after a hit-and-run accident, try to remember as much information as possible about the other driver. License plate information, car makes/models, driver features, bumper stickers, and other details can help officers track down the offender.
- Pull over as close to the scene of the incident as possible. Move to a safe spot on the side of the road to wait for emergency services. If your vehicle is immobile, remain where you are and turn on your hazard lights to avoid further incidents.
- Take a moment to gather your thoughts. Many people jump into action as soon as they stop, and then struggle to take the next steps. Take a few deep breaths and record information about the other driver, your injuries, and your location before you reach out to emergency responders.
- Contact the authorities. Call 911 to activate a local response from emergency responders and police. The dispatcher will ask you a series of questions about injuries and your location. Answer them to the fullest extent possible to ensure you receive timely support.
- Add detail to your accident record. While you wait for the police and emergency responders to arrive, take pictures or video record the accident scene. Include vehicle damage, your own injuries, the location, and the weather, if possible. Look for witnesses and ask for contact information for later use. When you can, create a detailed description of what happened from your perspective.
- Report the accident to your insurer. To initiate any type of claims process, you need to report the incident. Your insurance card may have details about contacting your insurer about an accident. When you report the incident, do not accept fault or claim to know the extent of your injuries. Your insurer only needs to know that an accident involving a beneficiary occurred.
- Review your insurance policy. You may have access to uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to protect you from the out-of-pocket costs of hit-and-run accidents. Understanding your policy will help you pursue a claim for compensation if you do not find the at-fault driver.
- Talk to an attorney. You may want to take your claim to a Phoenix car accident attorney if you:
- Do find the at-fault driver. An attorney can help you pursue a claim against the driver or pursue a claim against your own insurance (if the offender has little or no insurance).
- Don’t find the at-fault driver. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the insurance system in Arizona. Insurers do not always pay up to the limits of a policy to protect their clients.
A hit-and-run accident can leave you with exorbitant medical expenses, property damage, and few options for restitution. After a hit-and-run incident, take these steps to protect your rights and improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.