Any automobile accidents can be distressing, but it is important to understand how to handle a hit-and-run in particular. Hit-and-run accidents can be very emotionally taxing, particularly if you are sitting at the scene of the accident while the perpetrator is driving away.
Dealing with a hit-and-run situation is different than a run-of-the-mill fender-bender. According to State Farm Insurance, it is important to stay at the scene of the hit-and-run accident and not chase after the culprit.
Why should I not go after the culprit?
It is unlikely that there are no eyewitnesses to the hit-and-run accident. If the eyewitnesses see both cars driving off after an accident, they will not know who the perpetrator actually is. Plus, if anybody sustains injury as a result of the accident, it is important for you to call 911.
If nobody has injuries, your first action should be to call the police to file a report. Filing a police report can help lead to the capture of the culprit, and may be necessary for insurance purposes.
Should I talk to eyewitnesses?
Absolutely. Having multiple people back up your version of events is a good idea from a legal and insurance perspective. Additionally, since most people have smartphones this means that an eyewitness may have taken video or a photo of the culprit. It is also possible that an eyewitness was able to take down the license plate number of the perpetrator.
It is also a good idea to document the scene of the crime yourself. Make sure to take photos of any damage to either your vehicle or surrounding property. You can also record eyewitnesses giving you accounts.