A hit-and-run accident is when the at-fault driver leaves or flees the scene of a car accident without stopping. A hit-and-run is a serious crime in Pennsylvania that, unfortunately, many drivers commit each year. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in New Castle, take the following steps to protect yourself as a victim. You may still be able to recover financial compensation even if the responsible driver doesn’t stop at the scene of the crash.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself and anyone else involved in the wreck for injuries immediately after a hit-and-run accident. Look for signs of swelling, bruising or bleeding, as well as any pain, numbness or tingling. Keep in mind that your adrenaline from the crash may conceal the early signs of an injury. Get to a safe location and move your disabled vehicle out of the road, if possible. Put your hazard lights on to avoid further collisions.
Report the Hit-and-Run to the Authorities
Use your cell phone to dial 911 and report the hit-and-run accident to the police immediately. The police can collect any available evidence that could lead to tracking down the at-fault driver. You will also need a police report to give to your insurance company during an injury claim later. When the police arrive, tell them what happened in as much detail as possible. Ask for your police report number before you leave.
If you can, take photographs using your smartphone or a camera while still at the scene of the hit-and-run accident. Take pictures of any important details, such as damage to your vehicle, skid marks on the road, pieces of the other driver’s car left behind and road signs. Also, capture shots of the scene as a whole. Photographs and videos can help investigators piece together how the car accident occurred and may lead to the capture of the hit-and-run driver.
Talk to Eyewitnesses
Eyewitnesses can be crucial to building a hit-and-run accident case. If there is anyone around who saw the accident take place, get their contact information so that you can request statements later. Eyewitnesses may have information about the at-fault driver, such as the type or color of the vehicle that hit you, that can help the police identify and locate the culprit.
Get Immediate Medical Care
Never wait to get medical care after a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania. Go to the nearest hospital right away, even if you feel fine. If you wait too long to see a doctor, an insurance company could use this against you. This can make it more difficult for you to obtain fair financial compensation for your losses.
Call Your Car Insurance Company
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. This means that you will have the correct type of first-party coverage to pay for your medical bills after a hit-and-run car accident (personal injury protection insurance). This pays for first-party medical expenses, regardless of fault. It will also pay for your medical bills if the at-fault driver fled the scene. Contact your car insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. Cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation, but do not admit fault for the crash or give a recorded statement. Before you accept a settlement for a hit-and-run accident, consult with a Pittsburgh car accident attorney for advice.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
An insurance company may try to take advantage of you during the claims process to save its investors money. A car accident attorney, on the other hand, will work hard to protect your interests. You can trust an attorney to properly guide you through the claims process after a hit-and-run crash and negotiate for maximum financial compensation. An attorney can also help you seek other legal remedies, such as holding a third party responsible., if possible. To learn more about how a lawyer can help you after a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania, contact Dallas W. Hartman P.C. today.