No one leaves the house planning on getting in a car accident. Even dealing with a minor car accident with minimal damage requires time and effort.
A hit and run accident, where the driver of one car leaves the scene without stopping, can feel even more overwhelming.
Whether you are in a car, on a bicycle, or a pedestrian, here are five steps to take if you are the victim of a hit and run.
Assess Yourself and Others for Injuries
Being hit by a car or truck can be alarming. With the extra adrenaline in your system, you may not immediately feel pain. This is not necessarily a true indication of whether or not you have been injured. Take a few moments to check for bleeding, bones at odd angles, strained muscles, and the like. Once you have assessed your own self for injuries, check on those around you who may also have been affected.
If you or someone else has sustained injuries, seek medical help immediately. The rest of this checklist, while important, is not nearly as important as your own health and safety.
Clear the Roadway
Once assured you do not need immediate medical attention, clear the roadway if you are able to do so. Pull over to the side of the road. Retrieve your bicycle from the intersection. Gather your things. Clearing the roadway helps reduce the potential for subsequent accidents caused by unsuspecting motorists.
Call the Police
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. If you are the victim of a hit and run, this should be reported to the police as soon as possible. Law enforcement will likely come to the scene to interview you and file a report. This may seem like a waste of time, particularly if you don’t think you sustained injuries. However, some injuries take longer than others to present themselves. Calling the police is an important step in documenting the accident took place.
Document the Scene
The police will likely document some of the accident scene, but this does not prevent you from taking a few pictures of your own. Consider taking both close ups and distance photos with your phone. Obviously, if there are any skid marks or other evidence of the crash, such as paint transferred to the guardrail, this should be documented. Photos documenting the intersection, the parked cars on the side of the street, and other information which informs a fact finder may prove helpful later on.
Contact an Attorney
At O’Brien & Ford, we offer free consultations in every case. You are never under any obligation. Whether or not you have a personal injury claim is based on a number of factors. There is no need to guess whether or not you may have a claim. Our attorneys are happy to speak with anyone after a hit and run accident about the facts of their case. Call us today at (716) 330-2901. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.