No one ever wants to think about being in an auto accident, and you probably can’t imagine being the victim of a hit and run. But it can happen at any time, anywhere, even here in Charlotte. It’s better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.
Here’s what you need to know if it ever happens to you.
What are Hit and Run Accidents?
A hit and run occurs when a drive knowingly causes an accident and then leaves the scene without stopping to assist or providing their details. Most of the time, these drivers don’t get out of the car; they just drive away. Sometimes, they might stop for a moment but leave before you can talk to them or exchange information.
How to Handle a Hit and Run Accident
Even without the other driver around, you’ll do all of the same things you do after a typical auto accident.
Stay calm. You might be shaken up or even angry. Take a deep breath and then get to work documenting the scene. Whatever you do, don’t chase the other driver. At that point, you’re leaving the scene and may lose valuable witnesses, plus you’re putting yourself in further danger.
Get to safety. If you’re in the middle of the road, you need to move to the sidewalk or shoulder as soon as possible. Your vehicle may be disabled, but as long as you’re uninjured, get to a safe place so you stay uninjured.
Call 911. If anyone, whether in your vehicle or a pedestrian, is injured, call 911 immediately.
Document everything. Take pictures and/or video of the scene and your damage. This will be good to show the police and your insurance adjustor later. Also, take notes of what you remember about the other driver: license plate, model and model of their vehicle, the direction they went, the time/date/location of the accident, any damage you saw on their vehicle, and more.
Call the police. You definitely need to file a police report for a hit and run accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. Your insurance provider may require it because there isn’t another driver to identify or insurance company to work with on the claim.
Talk to witnesses. Find out what they saw. Take notes of what they tell you. Get their contact information so your insurance company and/or the police can contact them later.
Call your insurance provider. Once you’ve done everything else, give your insurance provider a call. They’ll walk you through the next steps based on what’s available through your policy.
How Insurance Handles a Hit and Run Accident
You have two options with your auto insurance, based on the kind of policy you purchased.
Collision coverage: This pays to replace or repair your vehicle after damage occurs in a collision with another object, in this case, a vehicle. It only pays for the damage to your vehicle, though.
Uninsured motorist coverage: While designed to help pay for expenses after an accident with someone who doesn’t have auto insurance, it also covers accidents where the driver remains unknown — as in a hit and run accident. Your medical expenses, lost wages, and damages to the vehicle may all be covered.
Just as you can never know if another driver has insurance when they hit you out on the road, you can never predict when you’ll be the victim of a hit and run accident. Your best defense is a robust auto insurance policy that includes uninsured motorist coverage.
To add this to your existing policy or for questions about auto insurance, contact Charlotte Insurance today. We hope you’re never in a hit and run accident, but if you are, we can make sure you have the right policy to get you back on the road again.