What Do You Do If Someone Hits Your Car and Leaves?
What should you do when you are in an auto accident and the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, making it a hit and run situation?
For example, let’s say that you are stopped at a red light at an intersection and your car is rear-ended.
As you start to gather yourself from the initial shock, you see that the other driver has backed up and driven away without getting out of the car.
Now, what do you do?
A hit and run situation
A hit and run is anytime there has been a vehicle accident with another vehicle or person, and then leaves the scene of the accident without exiting their vehicle, offering help, or identifying themselves.
You should never leave the scene of the accident without identifying yourself to the other accident victim and contacting the police.
This is illegal in every state and city. Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident can be harsh.
Even if the accident is not your fault, leaving the scene of an accident can result in criminal charges, fines, jail time, and having your driver’s license suspended or revoked.
Related: Most common types of car accidents
Why does a hit and run driver leave the scene of the accident? Usually, the reason they leave is one of the following:
- They were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- They don’t have a valid driver’s license or were driving on a suspended license
- They are engaged in illegal activity, transporting illegal goods or drugs
- The vehicle is stolen
- The vehicle is being used without permission
- The driver is uninsured
- The driver has an outstanding warrant for their arrest
- The driver is in a work vehicle and don’t want their employee to know about the accident
What to do after a hit and run accident
First off, check on yourself and the health of your passengers. Call 911 immediately for emergency assistance if anyone is injured.
Request police assistance so that an accident investigation can begin and accident report is filed.
Related: What to do after a car accident
Do your best to determine the make, model and license plate number of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Write this down as soon as possible. If you have your wits about you, take a photo of the other vehicle if possible, even if it’s driving away and you can’t make out the license.
Do not attempt to follow the other vehicle. They are committing a crime by leaving the scene of the accident. Do not do the same.
Look to see if you can find any nearby witnesses.
After you have worked with the police and have an accident report, contact your insurance company.
Will my insurance cover an accident where the other driver has left the scene?
Your repairs will be paid for if you have collision coverage on your auto insurance policy. You may have to pay a deductible though.
Your repairs will also be covered if you have uninsured motorist coverage. In this case, you may also have to pay a deductible.
It is possible that the driver who hit you may never be caught. Many hit and run drivers are able to escape.
Related: Collision repair after an accident
Getting your car repaired from collision damage in New Lenox
We understand that this can be a stressful process and being involved in a hit and run accident can be frightening.
Probst Collision wants to make your experience as smooth and efficient as possible.
Get collision repairs in New Lenox from the finest auto body shop in the region.
Call (815) 485-8411