What To Consider If You've Been In A Hit and Run

Any traffic accident can cause you to do things that you may have never done under other circumstances. Accidents can make your heart pound fast, take you out of your wits, and cause you to act without thinking first. Unfortunately, hit-and-runs can be a result of not knowing how to react to an accident properly.

If you, a driver, hits a pedestrian, another car, or property, and you flee from the area of the crash or if you gave false information, you have committed hit-and-run.

What is a hit and run?

A hit and run refers to a situation where a person involved in a traffic accident intentionally leaves the scene without stopping to provide their contact information or assist those affected. This includes accidents involving vehicles, pedestrians, or property.

In a hit and run, the responsible party may flee to avoid legal consequences, leaving the victims without the necessary information for insurance claims or legal action.

Hit and runs are generally considered illegal, and consequences can range from fines to criminal charges, depending on the severity of the incident.

What to do after a hit and run

The possibility of getting involved in an accident always exists, and this is why you’d need to prepare ahead of time. You should arm yourself with what to consider if you’ve been in a hit and run accident.

Stay at the scene of the accident

Don’t try to run after the culprit so as not to make things worse. You should wait for the police and emergency responders to get in the scene. The law obliges you to stay at the scene, especially if there are people who got injured or properties have been damaged due to the accident.

Contact the police immediately

Once you’ve secured that everyone’s safe, call the police as soon as you can. The police will let you clear things up by allowing you to answer questions for the police report. The police report can serve as an unbiased report of police officer/officers who responded to your call.

The contents of the initial police report:

  • Names of the people involved
  • Statements of the people involved
  • Time and place of the accident
  • Pictures of the crash (if there are any)
  • Opinion of the responding police officer

The police report will help you figure out the extent of the degree of liability of the defendant and the damages you’ve received from the accident. Even if the person at fault is not found, you’ll be needing the police report for filing your insurance claims. Lastly, the police report can serve as your evidence when you go to court.

Gather evidence as much as you can

When you’re faced with a hit-and-run accident, it’s essential that you should gather a lot of evidence.

You should:

  • Take pictures of your vehicle
  • Take photos of injuries (if there’s any)
  • Take pictures of damages to your property (if there’s any)
  • Gather CCTV footages
  • Footages from your Dashcam (if you have one installed)

You should make sure that you’ll be prioritizing quality over quantity when taking pictures to be used as evidence. Quality videos and images are considered to be the most effective form of proof.

Write down everything that you can remember

As soon as you can, you should write things that you can remember about the accident. Don’t wait for days or weeks before you do this, as memory fades with time. The key is always full and accurate documentation.

You should write down:

  • What happened before, during, and after the accident
  • Details of vehicle or vehicles involve
  • License plate number of the defendant (if you can remember)

Look for possible witnesses

If there are other people present during the accident, you should contact them immediately. Witnesses are essential in looking for the culprit and backing- up your version of events.

When you’ve contacted the witness, you should:

  • Write down the witnesses’ contact information
  • Write down their view of the accident
  • Ask them if they have seen the face or license plate number of the culprit
  • Ask them if they’re willing to give an official statement to the police

Get yourself checked immediately

If you’re present at the scene of the accident, whether you see an injury or not, you should get yourself checked. A doctor will be able to help you figure out if the accident has caused you any serious or lasting injury.

A medical report is also essential when you file for compensation. Insurance companies will reject your claim without it since you have no proof that said injuries came from the accident.

Contact your insurance company

Admittedly, after the accident, you’ll want to file for compensation to your insurance company.

When you’re going to file a claim, it’s essential that you have the following details:

  • Your full name and policy number
  • Date and time of the accident
  • Contact information of people involved
  • License plate numbers and driver’s licenses of people involved
  • Start date and end date of your policy
  • Pictures of the injuries and damages
  • Medical and police reports

Contact a lawyer immediately

As soon as you can, you should contact a lawyer immediately. A lawyer will help you figure out what are the legal steps that you can take. Make sure that your lawyer is experienced in dealing with hit-and-run accidents.

And when you’re conversing with your lawyer, always be truthful with him/her. Also, make sure to show him/her all the necessary documents regarding the accident that you have.

Getting involved in a car or truck accident can be traumatizing, but getting involved in a crash with someone who doesn’t want to take responsibility for his/her actions is worse. It can be hard to deal with your damages and injuries, especially that you don’t know who to blame. However, when you find yourself in this situation, thinking and acting wisely are the key to achieving your much-needed resolution. Following the tips that we have given you, together with the guidance of a reliable lawyer, you’ll achieve justice in due time.

Documenting the Scene

Documenting the scene of a hit-and-run accident is crucial for building a strong case and supporting your insurance claim.

Ensure Safety: Move to a safe location and prioritize the well-being of everyone involved.

Emergency Services: Call 911 if there are injuries or significant property damage.

Stay at the Scene: Remain at the accident scene to comply with legal requirements.

Overview Photos: Capture wide-angle photos of the entire scene, including vehicles, road conditions, and landmarks.

Vehicle Damage: Take detailed photos of your vehicle from various angles, highlighting specific damage.

Property Damage: Document any damage to surrounding property with photographs.

License Plates: Note down the license plates of all involved vehicles, even if they fled.

Witness Information: Collect names and contact details of witnesses, encouraging them to provide statements to the police.

Skid Marks/Debris: Document any skid marks or debris on the road.

Weather Conditions: Note the weather conditions at the time of the accident.

Dashcam Footage: Use any available dashcam footage as additional evidence.

CCTV Footage: Check for nearby surveillance cameras and request footage if available.

Injury Documentation: If injured, take immediate photos and document the progression of injuries.

Police Report: Keep a copy of the police report or note the officer’s details and report number.

Sketch the Scene: Create a simple sketch indicating vehicle positions, traffic signals, and landmarks.

Thorough documentation is essential for supporting insurance claims and legal proceedings. Act promptly to capture details while the scene is fresh.

What Not To Do After a Hit-and-Run:

  • Do not panic: Staying calm ensures a smoother process.
  • Do not chase the driver: Chasing is dangerous and may lead to further issues.
  • Do not delay reporting: Quick action increases the chances of finding the driver.

Do you have to pay your deductible for a hit and run?

Whether you have to pay a deductible for a hit and run depends on the type of coverage you have and the specific circumstances of the incident. Here are common scenarios:

Collision Coverage:

  • If you have collision coverage, it generally covers damages to your vehicle in a hit-and-run. In this case, you may need to pay your deductible before your insurance kicks in to cover the remaining repair costs.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Coverage:

  • Some states offer Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage, which may apply to hit-and-run situations. If you have this coverage, it could help cover your vehicle damages without requiring you to pay a deductible.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:

  • This coverage often includes both property damage and bodily injury. It may apply in hit-and-run cases, covering your damages without a deductible for property damage. However, coverages can vary, so check your policy.

Comprehensive Coverage:

  • If you have comprehensive coverage, it might cover damages caused by vandalism, including hit-and-run incidents. Comprehensive coverage typically involves a deductible.

No Coverage or Liability-Only Policies:

  • If you only have liability coverage and no additional coverage for your vehicle, your insurance may not cover the damages resulting from a hit and run, and you would be responsible for the repairs.

It’s crucial to review your insurance policy or consult with your insurance provider to understand the specific coverages you have and how they apply to hit-and-run incidents.


1. What should I do immediately after a hit and run accident?

  • Ensure your safety and the safety of others, then stay at the scene. Call emergency services if needed and avoid chasing the fleeing driver.

2. Should I follow the hit-and-run driver?

  • No, it’s not advisable to chase the fleeing driver. Stay at the scene and prioritize gathering information and notifying the police.

3. What information should I gather at the scene?

  • Collect details such as license plate number, make and model of the other vehicle, and any possible eyewitness accounts. Take photos of damages, injuries, and the overall scene.

4. When should I call the police after a hit and run?

  • Call the police immediately after ensuring everyone’s safety. The police report will be crucial for filing an insurance claim and legal proceedings.

5. How can a police report help after a hit and run?

  • The police report includes essential details like names, statements, time, and location of the accident. It serves as unbiased evidence for insurance claims and legal actions.

6. Is it important to gather evidence after a hit and run?

  • Yes, gathering evidence is crucial. Take photos of your vehicle, injuries, and damages. Collect CCTV footage if available, and note down witness information for additional support.

7. What role does my insurance play in a hit-and-run?

  • Contact your insurance company promptly to report the incident. Depending on your coverage, your policy may help cover damages, medical expenses, or other losses resulting from the hit and run.

8. Should I contact a lawyer after a hit and run?

  • Yes, it’s advisable to contact a lawyer experienced in hit-and-run cases. They can guide you on legal options, assist in dealing with insurance companies, and help with potential legal action.

9. How does uninsured motorist coverage apply in a hit and run?

  • Uninsured motorist coverage can help cover damages and medical expenses when the at-fault driver is unidentified or lacks insurance. Check your policy details to understand coverage limits.

10. Is there a time limit for reporting a hit and run to my insurance?

  • Report the hit and run to your insurance company as soon as possible. While specific time limits may vary, prompt reporting is generally recommended to ensure a smooth claims process.