What is Hit-and-run?

Mar 3, 2023 | Business Insurance

A hit-and-run occurs when at least one party to the incident flees the scene without aiding, enough information to the other motorist, or failing to notify the police of the collision. This could involve a vehicle, person, or item.

Whether you were at fault or not, leaving the scene is illegal in the majority of states. And depending on the situation, it may be a crime or even a misdemeanor.

You’ll probably be responsible for paying the costs associated with the collision if the other motorist cannot be located. The damages to you and your property can be covered by your policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage or full coverage vehicle insurance.

Speak with your insurance company to ensure that you are adequately covered. “They will point you in the correct direction on the insurance limits you need to have in order to adequately safeguard yourself from hit-and-run drivers.

Even though being in a vehicle accident is never ideal, it may be especially distressing if the other motorist hit you and then fled the scene.

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What You Should Do After a Hit-and-Run

When a hit-and-run accident occurs, there are several things you should do as quickly as you can. Every second matters during these circumstances.

Ensure your safety.

First, make sure neither you nor any other passengers have any wounds. Before doing anything else, dial 911 if someone is hurt. The police can aid in providing medical care.

When engaged in an accident, there is tension. You’re right, shock exists. As a result, Dusty Francisco, a public information officer with the New Mexico State Police, says that this is one of the reasons to contact 911 if you are hurt in any manner so that our dispatchers can call an ambulance and make sure you are safe.

Make sure that your safety and the safety of the other passengers in the car come first, advises Francisco. Once it is safe to do so, he advises moving your automobile out of harm’s path if it was in a hazardous area before the collision. After making sure there is no oncoming traffic, relocate your vehicle to a place where there is less chance of an accident.

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collecting data

Write down as much information as you can about the other car and driver once you are secure.

According to Derek Senegal, a public information officer for the Louisiana State Police, “ascertain as much information as you can at the moment of the collision – vehicle make and model, colour of the car, license plate number, maybe who was driving the vehicle, and direction of travel.”

It’s crucial to have written documentation so you aren’t only relying on recollection. Images might be useful as well.

Ask any surrounding witnesses whether they would be prepared to speak with the authorities and get their contact information, advises Senegal, if there is one. Senegal said, “If you’re in a big road – of course there will be more people around — search for a witness if you can.

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Make a police call

As quickly as you can, dial 911. Before doing anything else, you should call if someone is hurt. However, even if no one was wounded, it’s still crucial to notify the police as quickly as possible.

Call us right away so that we can arrive instead of waiting a few hours, advises Senegal. Hours after a hit-and-run accident, police stations get calls, according to Senegal. “At that moment, there isn’t much we can do for you. To get everything, set up for you, we must make sure we leave right away, he continued.

You should request a copy of the accident report after the responding officer has completed it. A police report can be required as part of your claim by your insurance carrier.

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Call your car insurance company

Contact your insurance company and submit a claim as soon as the police have finished their investigation and you are able to leave the site. Your recall of the occurrence will be sharper the sooner you contact. If you can, try to submit a claim on the same day as the mishap.

“You ought to take action as soon as the police report is submitted. Normally, you have 30 days to submit a claim, according to Ferraiolo.

Contact your roadside assistance provider now, if you require a tow, if you have one.

Insurance Effects Following a Hit-and-Run

If you have the appropriate coverage, your insurance policy may pay the bill after a hit-and-run. However, the coverage you have access to and the way your policy responds to a hit-and-run vary by state and insurer.

Most of the states require drivers to have liability insurance to pay for any harm they may do to other persons. However, you can be responsible for covering the costs of your own car’s damages if the at-fault motorist leaves the scene or doesn’t have insurance.

You can benefit substantially from having collision coverage and medical costs coverage in this circumstance. Your car’s damage is covered by collision insurance, and medical expenses incurred because of an accident are covered by medical payments insurance.

One reason a driver could try to leave the scene of an accident is a lack of insurance. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or you are unsure of who to make a claim against, as in the case of a hit-and-run, your own insurance carrier may reimburse your repair expenses if you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage. In a similar vein, bodily harm liability coverage for uninsured drivers will pay for your medical costs.

Ask your insurance companies if you have any questions about how their policies will handle a hit-and-run. 

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Don’t Leave the Scene
Never attempt to pursue or catch the fleeing motorist after a hit-and-run. Furthermore, if you leave the scene, you can miss eyewitness testimony and leave law enforcement wondering who exactly is to blame.

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