It’s bad enough to be involved in a collision, but hit and run accidents are even more distressing. When a car smashes into you and then speeds off, or you return to your safely parked car only to find it damaged, you may feel both angry and helpless because you don’t know who did it and who to hold responsible. Also, there’s so much fraud around car accident insurance claims, that your insurance company may well have you jumping through hoops to prove that it was indeed a hit and run.
No matter how upset you are when you’re the victim of a hit and run, try to remain calm. Breathe deeply and count to 10. If you stay calm, you’re more likely to be successful in getting at least some information that will help the police track down the shameful driver who hit you. It will also smooth the way for your insurance company to make the right decision and process your claim.
The most helpful information is the model, make, and license plate number of the car that smashed into you, but in the aftershock of an accident, you may be too stressed to see and memorize that information in the few seconds before the offending driver speeds off. Of course, if someone smashes into your parked car, you weren’t there to see it in the first place.
But there are some things that you can do to make a bad situation less bad.
#1. Keep calm. Getting stressed won’t help the situation at all. Attempt to remain calm and you’ll make better decisions to get your car taken care of.
#2. Look around for possible witnesses; maybe there was someone who was wide-awake and fast-thinking and saw and wrote down the model, make, and license plate number of the car that hit you. Even if they didn’t get all the information, maybe they recognized the make and color of the vehicle, whether the driver was a man or a woman, or young or old. Witnesses may also be able to tell you what they saw when the accident happened; was the driver speeding, driving erratically, were there passengers in the car? Write down the witnesses names and contact information.
#3. If the hit and run happened when you were in your car, write down the time of the accident. If you were away from your vehicle, write down the time you parked your car and the time you returned to find it damaged.
#4. Take pictures from different angles of the damage to your car and the surrounding area. If the other car’s paint is on your car, try to get the clearest picture you can; it may help the police and prove to your insurance company that your claim is genuine and not fraudulent.
#5. File an accident report with the police with as much information as you were able to get. Even if the police are unable to find the hit and run driver, you’ll have an official report that may speed up your insurance claim.
When you’re the victim of a hit and run accident, don’t be tempted to chase down and confront the driver; it may lead you to drive recklessly and cause another crash. But more than that, if a hit and run driver is already a criminal, you may be putting yourself at risk of violence and physical harm.
We hope that you’re never involved in a hit and run accident, but if you are, call Orlando Auto Body at 480-418-4737 for an estimate and advice on the repair.