There is no state in the country in which it’s legal to leave the scene of a car accident except in cases of immediate medical need. In fact, in a hit and run accident, if another person is injured, the driver can be charged with a felony.
That said, despite these hit-and-run laws, these types of accidents happen on Nevada roads all the time. If you’ve been involved in this type of accident then there are some things you can do to make sure you’re taking care of.
#1 Write Down Everything You Can About The Car That Fled
We know that you likely only had a few seconds before the car drove away. That said, anything you remember about it could be useful. Write down the license plate number, the make and model of the car, the color of the vehicle, and any type of distinguishing feature or mark, including any damage done by the accident. Write down what direction the car was heading as well.
#2 Gather Information From Witnesses
It’s common for bystanders who witnessed the accident to have more information and to remember it better than those who were involved.
If there is anyone who might have seen the accident take place, record their statements with your smartphone. A video or audio recording of witness testimony help your claim. Record the name and contact information of each witness you interview.
#3 Take Pictures
Use the camera on your smartphone to take pictures of the damage while you wait for a police responder to arrive. Get pictures of the damage of your car and take a video of the brake lights and turn signals. Proof that your signals and lights were functional at the time of the accident helps your insurance case.
Photo the other car’s damage, license plate, and the affected surroundings. If there are skid marks on the road, take pictures. Your insurance company wants to know every last detail of the accident.
After you take photos and videos of the damage, record yourself speaking through the events of the accident as they just occurred. This helps validate your recollection of events for the insurance company or in a courtroom.
#4 Reach Out To The Police
No matter how minor or major the damage is, always call the police to the scene of the accident. Ask to file a police report and record the identification information of the officer that responds. When the police come, tell them that the driver left the scene and share any info you have with them. The police report that will result from this info is a key part of your personal injury case.
#5 Get Medical Care
If anyone has suffered serious injuries, call 911 immediately. If an individual is rendered unconscious or suffering neck or back pain, tell them not to move. Don’t move them. The only time you should move an injured individual is when it would be dangerous for them to remain in their location.
Even if your injuries seem minor, remember that they can be worse than they seem. Get a medical evaluation even if you don’t think you have a significant injury. The doctors will not only help with any medical needs, but they will document your injuries.
#6 File An Insurance Claim
After you are free to go, while you are still at the hit and run accident scene, call your insurance company. Tell your insurance representative exactly how the accident happened. Inform them of all the evidence you collected to support your claim, and they will tell you how to proceed.
If you give inaccurate facts or lie about anything you risk losing your claim and even your coverage.
Follow up with your insurance company whenever you receive new information regarding the accident. When the auto shop gets back to you about your vehicle evaluation, inform your insurance. When the police file your report, inform your insurance as to who is listed as at fault.
#7 Reach Out To An Attorney
Depending on what happens with the hit and run accident, i.e. whether or not the police find the driver that hit you, your options will vary. If your accident turns into a personal injury case, consult an attorney. Legal representation works to your benefit to prove your assertion of events. Insurance companies like to play hardball and it can get tricky without an attorney. However, it’s always worth it to reach out to a personal injury attorney who can let you know what recourse is available to you. When you work with Cogburn Law, your consultation is completely free. Reach out to us today at (702)323-4296 to learn more about your options.