While being involved in a car accident of any type can be very scary, and have huge implications for your physical wellbeing and health, in the majority of cases, comfort can be taken in the fact that if you are not at fault for the accident, the insurance company of the other driver will be responsible for paying for your losses.
Unfortunately, this small sense of comfort is completely eliminated in the event that you are involved in a hit and run accident, in which an at-fault driver collides with your vehicles and then flees the scene before their information can be recorded. If you are in a hit and run accident in South Carolina, here is some information about how to handle the aftermath–
1. Record As Much Information About the Vehicle As You Can
When you are involved in a car accident, especially one that results in serious injury or damage, you may be too shocked to take immediate action. However, if you are able, you should immediately record as much information about the other vehicle as you can. This includes:
- The vehicle’s make and model;
- The color of the vehicle;
- The vehicle’s license plate number;
- Details of the driver;
- Distinguishing details of the vehicle (i.e large scratch in paint, dented fender, etc.); and
- Direction that the vehicle is traveling as it leaves the scene.
The more information that you record, the easier it will be for the authorities to (hopefully) track down the vehicle and apprehend the driver.
2. Call the Police
It is imperative that you call the police following a hit and run accident. You should call the police in the minutes following the accident; the sooner that you report the hit and run, the sooner that the police can take action, which improves the chances of the driver being caught. Filing a police report will also be important when dealing with your own insurance company, too.
3. Talk to Witnesses
The police will likely talk to witnesses when they arrive at the scene of the accident and begin filing the accident report. However, you too should get witnesses’ contact information and statements. If a witness saw something, or happened to record something you did not – such as the hit and run driver’s license plate number – this could be critical to your case.
4. Talk to Nearby Businesses
Many businesses, such as gas stations, have security cameras in place that are used to record crimes. In some cases, these security cameras may have caught the accident on camera, which could provide vital clues as to the hit and run driver’s identity.
5. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Even though South Carolina is an at-fault car insurance state, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for paying for damages after a crash, your insurance company may handle certain costs depending upon the type of policy you carry. It is very important that you report your accident to your insurance company as soon as possible following your crash so that they can begin their own investigation. If you wait too long to file a claim, your insurance company may deny your claim altogether.
6. Hire an Experienced South Carolina Hit and Run Accident Attorney
In the aftermath of a hit and run, you may feel helpless when it comes to getting a settlement amount that compensates you for your losses, especially if the hit and run driver cannot be located. When you hire a knowledgeable South Carolina hit and run car accident attorney, your attorney will investigate the facts of your case and work with specialists to improve chances of finding the driver. An attorney can also negotiate with your insurance company and other parties (such as your health insurance company or the hospital) to help you resolve your claim with the maximum amount of money in your pocket as possible.
Call the Joye Law Firm Today
At the Joye Law Firm, we know how scary being in any accident can be, and understand the fears that surrounding being in a hit and run crash. When you need a legal advocate on your side to help guide you through the aftermath of a hit and run and the claims process, we are the legal team for you. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today, please contact us online or call our offices. We have been serving residents in Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, North Charleston, and surrounding areas since 1968!