Hit and run accidents are complex because there is no liable party. You may end up injured or with a damaged vehicle and never find out who hit you (especially if there are no witnesses or camera footage from the area).
Every accident is complex, but hit and run accidents are even more challenging, you will need an attorney. If you went through such an experience in New York, it’s time to consult with a hit and run lawyer.
If your vehicle was damaged in a hit and run accident, there are several steps you should take when it comes to filing an insurance claim.
Get medical assistance ASAP – Your state and the state of other passengers is the highest priority in an accident.
Call 911 - This will bring the police and an ambulance. A hit and run accident is a crime, and you’ll need a police report for your insurance claim. Police reports give the required evidence of the accident and will show that you weren’t at fault. No matter how the accident happened, whether you somehow contributed to it, don’t admit any fault since everything you say will be used against you in the future.
Take notes – If you are in a good state, write down everything you remember about the vehicle (color, model, plates, which direction it went). Write down everything, even if you aren’t sure about the details. This will immensely help the investigation.
Talk to witnesses - If it’s possible, see if anyone is around that could have witnessed the accident and get their contact information. Ask them to stay there until the police arrive. The information they provide can help with the investigation.
Take photos – Photos are crucial in cases like these. Take photos of your damaged vehicle, your injuries, the surroundings, the state of the road, the weather, if there are any traffic signals or surveillance cameras.
Call your insurance company – Don’t avoid informing your insurance company. This way you’ll start the claim process. Avoid admitting any fault, just inform them about the facts. Any admitting could lead to the insurance company avoiding to pay you the settlement.
Call your attorney - Hit and run accidents are complex so, a quality and skilled attorney is essential in such cases.
If you have DCPD coverage (Direct Compensation Auto Insurance – full coverage for accidents in which you aren’t at fault), you can get compensation with a zero-deductible. Otherwise, your compensation may come from your collision coverage (it usually has a deductible). If you were not at fault in the accident, filing an insurance claim shouldn’t raise your insurance premium.
In case you got injuries in the accident, you’re eligible for additional compensation.
If you make a claim after you were involved in a hit and run, you’ll have to pay the deductible for any part of your policy that is covering the damage. If your claim is paid out through your collision coverage, you’ll need to pay the deductible listed for that part of your policy. If your claim is paid out through your DCPD coverage, you’ll have to pay your DCPD deductible. The good thing, in this case, is that DCPD coverage often has a $0 deductible.
When you’re making an insurance claim after another driver has damaged your vehicle in a hit-and-run crash, it shouldn’t impact your premium as long as you have reported the accident to the police and your insurers view the accident as a “not-at-fault” loss.
The best thing to do in such cases is to follow the steps and call a car accident attorney. People tend to be confused in situations like these, and it’s natural. You fear that you might not be able to collect a claim for your damages since there is no other driver.
However, your lawyer would investigate the case, collect every evidence they could find, and represent you the best they could. Your attorney’s main interest is to help you get the compensation you deserve. Even if the insurance company decides to offer a lower settlement, your attorney will negotiate. Doing this on your own can be challenging. Allow a team of skilled lawyers to take your case while you recover from your injuries. Cellino Law lawyers can answer every question you have.