Accidents are one of those things that are an absolute killjoy. In the span of a few seconds that fun day trip you had planned is toast. Hopefully, it won’t involve any hospital trips, but it will for sure involve many phone calls to your insurance agent, auto body shops, paint shops, mechanics and pretty much any place you can think of that you don’t want to spend your day talking on the phone with. Ugh. But, it could be worse. If you’re in an accident and the other person takes off, it’s a whole new world of headache!
But never fear, there are things to do if you’re in a hit-and-run accident that’ll help you protect yourself now. The good folks at Glenn Ford Lincoln asked me to give you some pointers and tips on what you can, and should, do to make the process easier to get through:
Get the License Plate Number
This is haphazard at best, as the other driver often leaves as fast as they can after hitting your car. But if you’re in a minor accident and the other person has pulled over, try to remember to make a note of their license plate. Most people won’t take off but, if someone is scared and unsure of what to do, they may pull over and then take off just as quickly. If you were able to take a quick picture with your cell phone, you’re in good shape.
Call the Police
Before going anywhere or doing anything else, call the police to report the incident. The faster you report it, the quicker they can start looking in the vicinity in which the accident occurred. The longer you wait, the longer the individual who hit you has to cover more distance or park their car in a garage and lay low for a few days. Don’t bother calling your insurance company until you report the accident to the police first, either!
Look for Witnesses
If the accident happened on the freeway, sometimes a witness will pull over to help you describe the other vehicle. If you’re lucky, they may have jotted down the license plate. It’s sometimes easier if the accident happened on downtown streets, as many businesses have surveillance cameras. The whole incident may have been caught on film!
After all this, you can call your insurance company to report the accident. It’s important to realize that many people flee accidents for two reasons: They are either not properly licensed or they’re uninsured. Hopefully, your insurance covers uninsured motorist coverage so you are protected in cases of other drivers not being insured. If you’re not sure that you have this option, it may be a good time to check before you are in a hit and run accident – the financial consequences can be steep if you don’t! The good folks at Glenn Ford Lincoln sincerely hope you’re never in a hit and run accident but, if you are, they hope you find these tips helpful in keeping the damages to a minimum.