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Dos and do nots after a hit-and-run accident
If one of the parties involved in a collision leaves the scene, the other person should not leave, should gather information and should call for help.
Not all Washington state residents stick around after getting into a car accident. If a person is hit by another vehicle, he or she may expect the other driver to stay to exchange insurance information. However, some drivers leave the scene if they do not have insurance or have been drinking and driving. According to ABCnews.com, 2,049 who were hit by a driver who fled were killed over the course of a single year. With so many injuries and deaths, it is important for everyone to know what to do if they are involved in this type of accident.
Do not leave the scene
If the other driver leaves the scene, it may be tempting for anyone else involved to also leave. After all, it is no longer possible to swap insurance or contact information, so what is the point of sticking around. The fact is anyone involved in a crash should stay at the scene to talk with other eyewitnesses, start an accident report and ensure anyone else involved is safe. Even if someone wants to try to follow the driver who fled, it is still better to wait at the scene of the accident.
Do gather information
The information needed after a hit-and-run crash is the same as any other type of traffic incident. The remaining driver and other witnesses should try to compile as much information as possible, including the following:
- The license plate number of the other vehicle
- A description of the car that fled, including make, color and model
- The direction the vehicle left in
- A description of the damage done to both vehicles
With this type of data, the other vehicle may be located. A driver may also want to take photos of the accident scene to use for insurance purposes. Writing down the details of the crash, including when it happened, where it happened and what caused it, may help with the claims process.
Do call for help
Even though some of the parties may have left the accident scene, anyone remaining should call for help. Emergency responders can assess the medical needs of drivers and passengers while also starting an accident report. Insurance providers can help drivers understand the coverage available to them if the other driver cannot be located. Calling for help can make the aftermath of a hit-and-run a little easier to handle.
If a Washington resident is involved in a car collision with a driver who flees the scene, it can be hard to know what to do next. No matter the situation of an accident, it can be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with this type of personal injury case.