Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are all too common. The good news is that because of parking lots and public space security systems, it’s often easy for authorities to catch offenders of these serious crimes. If you’re ever the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, here are a few things you should do immediately to increase your odds of receiving fair compensation for your pain and suffering and damages.
Assessing Damages and Injuries
If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, the first thing to do is to check yourself and any passengers or other people on the scene for injuries. While you might be tempted to chase someone down to catch a license plate number or get information on who damaged your property or hurt you, the bottom line is that your personal injury and physical safety are most important.
Maybe you were hit as a pedestrian in Albuquerque. Perhaps you were sideswiped while parked by your favorite grocery store or even on your way home from work. There will be plenty of time to find experienced personal injury lawyers in New Mexico to help you file a claim. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, no matter what the circumstance, you’ll want to start by calling for emergency help.
Contacting Authorities and Insurance Companies
Whether you’re hurt or not, you’ll also need to call authorities. When reporting a car crash, be sure to ask witnesses to stay at the scene, so they can give statements to police. This will help law enforcement identify the person who caused the accident so that they can later pay for their negligence and crime of leaving the scene of a car accident.
Be sure to call your insurance company immediately following the accident, too. Since a hit-and-run can’t possibly be due to your negligence, they’ll likely play a big role in paying for damages and any medical bills that may be a result of the accident.
After contacting authorities, it’s a good idea to take one more assessment of your physical injuries. Don’t forget about mental trauma, either. Emotional distress can be serious, too. Maybe you have a teen who witnessed your accident and has been experiencing insomnia since the accident. Perhaps an anxiety and depression treatment center could help your child get back on track after witnessing a crime. If something like this happens, save all receipts for medical treatment—even mental health—that you or your child need. Your attorney will be able to use them in helping you to get fair compensation or in working with insurance companies.
Hiring an Attorney
In most cases, law enforcement is able to find who caused your hit-and-run accident. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you’ll want to hire an attorney who will work to get you a favorable verdict for your pain and suffering. With years of experience investigating other people’s carelessness and the ability to calculate pain and suffering into fair compensation, the right attorney will help you recoup what you lose.
The attorney will know what to do when it comes to filing a personal injury claim or other lawsuit. This doesn’t mean you can’t help them in proving another person’s wrongdoing. In providing your lawyer with comprehensive medical bills, reports, the police report, and witness statements, they’ll be in a better position to represent you.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from the financial damages that a hit-and-run accident can cause is to carry comprehensive car insurance. Obviously, a hit-and-run can never be ruled your fault. If you do find yourself in the position of being a hit-and-run victim, making quick decisions, contacting the authorities and your insurance company, and hiring an attorney are great places to start.