Any traffic accident is upsetting and confusing, but a hit and run accident can be particularly upsetting. In addition to suffering from physical injuries and lost wages, you may be angry and confused about your legal rights. Rest assured: hit and run accident victims do have legal rights and options, but it is important to act quickly to protect those rights following a hit and run accident. Hit and run accidents include any traffic accident that results in damage to another person, vehicle, or property when the negligent motorist flees the scene of the collision without providing information about their identity. If you are in a hit and run accident, the first thing that you should do is get medical attention and contact the police. You should file a complete accident report and provide as much information as possible about the motorist that fled so that the police can attempt to locate the offender. In some situations, the police may be able to rely on surveillance footage in order to determine the motorist that fled the accident scene. Even if the negligent party cannot be determined or located, you may still be able to obtain financial recovery. Most auto insurance policies provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, insurance companies – even your own – are sometimes difficult to deal with and they often take a formulaic approach to determining the amount of damages. Accordingly, it is helpful to contact an auto accident lawyer who has experience dealing with insurance companies and is well-versed in handling hit and run accident claims.
What to do if you are the victim of a hit and run auto accident
There are several things to remember if you are in a hit and run accident:
- Immediately assess any injuries or damage caused by the accident. Document the injuries and damages to the extent possible by taking photos and getting the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Notify the policy and obtain medical treatment, if necessary.
- Maintain accurate and detailed records of any information you have on the accident, including any information on the other driver, any potential witnesses, photos, medical bills, and medical reports.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident. Do not sign any documents or give any recorded statements, however, without first consulting an auto accident attorney.
- Contact an experienced auto accident attorney to help you understand your legal rights and advocate on your behalf. The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to protecting the rights of auto accident victims, including the victims of hit and run accidents. Our team of Chicago auto accident lawyers will communicate and negotiate with the insurance company in an effort to get to the most favorable settlement possible. If you were the victim of a hit and run accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our skilled Chicago auto accident attorneys at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation.
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.