How to Pursue Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Even though fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal in Wisconsin and every other state in the nation, drivers across the country continue to do it. These incidents are commonly known as hit-and-run accidents, and if you are involved in one it is critical to know the steps to take to protect your legal rights and preserve your injury claim.
The Milwaukee car accident lawyers at Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice have listed the steps you should take after a hit-and-run crash, including contacting one of our experienced attorneys.
We are prepared to investigate and build your claim to seek maximum compensation for your injuries. During a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, we will review your case and explain the steps you may be able to take to try to obtain compensation.
What to Do Immediately After the Accident
In the moments after the accident, there are several things you should try to do if you are able:
Watch the Vehicle as it Leaves the Scene
You may only have a few seconds to study the other car as it leaves the scene so watch carefully. Take note of any identifying features or information, such as:
- Color, make and model of the vehicle and the license plate number
- The driver’s sex, race, hair color and other identifying features, like the clothes he or she was wearing
- Damage to the car
If at all possible, take out your smartphone and take pictures of the car as it flees the scene. You may notice details in pictures that you did not notice with your own eyes.
Look for Any Witnesses
Look around for anyone who may have witnessed the crash, including other drivers, pedestrians, business owners or customers. In some cases, witnesses notice details about the accident that the victim did not.
Make sure to write down what they tell you and ask for contact information for future reference. Your attorney may want to question them later as he or she is building your case.
Take Pictures of the Scene
Try to get pictures of the scene, damage to your car and your injuries. You should also take more pictures of your injuries throughout your treatment. This helps demonstrate the severity of your injuries and link them to the crash.
Call the Police
When the officer arrives, explain what happened and provide him or her with all of the information you have collected. The officer will use this to complete a police report about the accident. This will serve as an official record of the crash and helps prove the legitimacy of your claim.
Contacting the police is not only important for your legal claim, it is also required by law. According to state law, it is illegal to observe an accident and not to provide details within 24 hours. Both the victim and the driver that caused the accident are required to remain at the scene until local police have assessed the situation.
Seek Medical Assistance
Victims of car accidents should always seek treatment as soon as possible, even if they do not think they are hurt. Symptoms of some injuries may not show immediately.
A qualified doctor can assess all of your injuries and begin appropriate treatment. Medical professionals will also document your injuries and note that they were caused by the hit-and-run accident. These medical records will help prove to an insurance adjuster or jury that your injuries were caused by the accident. That is why these records are an essential part any injury claim.
File an Insurance Claim
If the police are able to locate the other driver, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company. However, even if the other driver is found, he or she might not have adequate insurance to cover your damages. One of the reasons people flee the scene of an accident is because they have little or no insurance.
In this case, the only way to obtain insurance compensation is to file a claim with your own insurance company. Hit-and-run accidents are usually covered by your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Contact Our Wisconsin Auto Accident Lawyers
If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can advocate for you.
The attorneys at PKSD strive to protect your rights and will thoroughly investigate your case as we attempt to recover fair compensation.
We provide a free initial consultation to evaluate your claim and explain your legal options. We work on contingency so you only pay us if you obtain compensation.
Contact our firm today by calling 877-877-2228.