What happens after a hit-and-run accident?
After a hit-and-run accident, it is normal for everything to feel like a blur. Knowing what to do after a hit-and-run accident can be challenging, as this is not a situation you ever expected to find yourself in. However, below is a brief overview of the recovery process after a hit-and-run accident.
Immediately after the accident
Right after the accident, the first thing you should do is to report it to the police. You can either call 911 or your local police or sheriff’s department to report a hit-and-run accident. Be sure to provide the operator with every detail you can think of, as this may help them locate the fleeing driver.
When you call to report the accident, the operator may dispatch emergency responders to check you out. Let them examine you to determine if you need any immediate life-saving medical treatment. If they offer to take you to the hospital in an ambulance, you should accept the ride. Even if you declined their offer and do not believe you were injured, it is vital that you visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care facility to rule out the possibility of any serious injuries.
Once you get home
After you have been discharged from the hospital, you will also want to report the accident to your insurance company. Insurance policies contain language that requires you to report any accident within a certain amount of time. Failing to report an accident promptly can jeopardize your claim. Insurance companies are out to settle the case for as little as possible, and anything you say to an insurance company representative can be used for precisely that purpose. However, when talking to the insurance company representative, remember that they do not have your best interests at heart.
The insurance company’s representative will ask you questions about the accident and your injuries. It is important that you are honest because they will be able to review your medical records before issuing any payout. At the same time, you should not minimize your injuries.
A few weeks after the accident
Usually, within a few weeks, the insurance company will come back to you with a decision on your claim. If it denied your claim, it must tell you why. If it approves your claim, the representative will tell you how much the company will pay for your injuries and property damage. The insurance company’s number may seem fair; however, you must consult with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer before agreeing to anything. This is because it can be challenging to identify the full extent of your damages without prior experience handling these claims. For example, insurance companies rarely offer any compensation for your pain and suffering after an accident. An attorney can help you determine a fair settlement offer and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.