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Car accidents are common, which unfortunately means that hit-and-run accidents are also common. And don't think such accidents are only between cars, either. Approximately 16% of pedestrian-car crashes are actually hit-and-runs.
If you ever end up being amongst the many hit-and-run victims in this country, your first response will probably be panic. And maybe anger. But before you dwell on any of these emotions, consider doing the following things.
1. Call for help. You likely have a legal duty to remain at the scene if you're a hit-and-run victim. Do not chase the other car, as you may cause an accident yourself. This is true even if you're not injured.
2. Identify the other driver. If you can, identify the make and model of the other car. If you spotted any license plate numbers, write it down. Same with a description of the driver. If the emergency dispatcher doesn't ask for the info, the officer responding to the scene will still need it.
3. Identify witnesses. If someone was kind enough to stop and help a hit-and-run victim, then he'll probably be nice enough to give you his contact information. Make you sure you collect it before witnesses leave the scene. It's useful for the police report and for your insurance company, both of which will need to decide who is at fault.
4. Call your insurance company. Depending on your coverage, your insurer will compensate you for your vehicle and injuries. However, you may need to carry uninsured motorist or other personal injury policies for his to happen.
5. Call an attorney. This is a must if your insurance company isn't cooperating or police found the person who made you a hit-and-run victim in the first place. An attorney can help you recover all of your costs and a bit more.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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