On average, hit and run accidents account for 11 percent of all national traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTS). Drivers in Los Angeles should be particularly mindful of how common these types of accidents are, as the number is four times higher in Los Angeles, accounting for 48 percent of all traffic accidents.
When we think of a hit and run accident we may think of a car collision, but the reality is that hit-and-runs often involve pedestrians. Any kind of accident is devastating, but an accident involving a pedestrian and someone leaving the scene-of-the-crime is particularly difficult to manage.
If you or a family member are ever involved in this type of tragic situation, there are some things you should do immediately to protect your rights as a victim of a hit-and-run accident.
What to Do Immediately After a Hit and Run Accident
- Remain at the scene. Although hit and run accident laws vary by state, there is a common responsibility shared by anyone involved: to remain at the scene and provide assistance to anyone who may be injured. You should never chase after the car that has fled as you’re only putting yourself and other drivers in danger.
- Call for help. Contact law enforcement to document the accident and to obtain an official accident report.
- Identify the other car. If possible, you should try to identify the make and model of the car or jot down the license plate number. This applies to a description of the driver as well. Even if the dispatcher doesn’t ask for the descriptions, the officer on scene will need them.
- Identify witnesses. This is crucial in hit and run accident cases, as the culprit has left the scene and you will rely on witness accounts to validate your claims. The witnesses will help both the police and your insurance company determine who was at fault. It’s important to act quickly so that your witnesses don’t leave before you’re able to collect their information.
- Call an attorney. Getting legal help is especially important if your insurance company fails to cooperate with you or if the police are able to find the person that left the scene of your accident. An attorney can walk you through your rights hit-and-run accident victim, help gather or identify evidence for your case, and fight for compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained.
When you contact one of our hit and run accident lawyers, the consultation is free. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you get paid or you don’t pay at all!
Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so regardless of what time your accident occurs we’re available to help.