Posted by Jacob Biby on 09/07/2023

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Hit-and-Run?

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Hit-and-Run?

The United States has seen a steady rise in hit and runs over the last decade. In fact, ValuePenguin reported that there were close to 1,400 hit-and-run deaths in 2010, but this number increased to over 2,000 by 2019. 

Hit-and-run accidents are often defined as motor vehicle crashes where the responsible person leaves the scene after the accident occurs. There are various reasons why they may leave the scene, such as not having car insurance, not having a driver's license, driving while drunk or intoxicated, or simply fearing the punishment. 

However, it is necessary to point out that hit-and-run accidents do not always have to be two vehicles. Instead, they can be a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, motor vehicle and a bicyclist, or two bicyclists. Regardless of the type of hit and run that you experienced, it is important that you know what to do when injured in one of these accidents.  

The important steps to take after being injured in a hit-and-run accident

When you are struck by a motorcycle, car, semi-truck, or bicycle, you most likely expect the individual to stop and give you their insurance information. However, when this does not happen, you may begin to feel lost and confused about what to do or where to turn. The good news is that there are specific steps that you can take to help you get the attention you need, and (hopefully) find the individual responsible for your accident to hold them accountable for their negligent actions. Here are five steps you can take after being involved in a hit and run:

  1. Dial 9-1-1: The very first thing that you want to do after being involved in any collision, including a hit-and-run accident, is call law enforcement. They will arrive at the scene, assess the damage to your body and property, investigate the underlying collision, file a police report and begin taking steps to identify and track down anyone who has left the scene.
  2. Visit a doctor right away: After a hit-and-run crash, it is highly recommended that you visit a doctor or physician as soon as possible. If you are seriously injured, call for an ambulance. Then, in the following weeks, make sure to attend all follow-up visits. This will show that you suffered injuries and that they were documented by a licensed medical provider.  
  3. Start collecting documentation: Start documenting everything that you remember about the accident. This can be as simple as the date and time, the color of the rider/driver who hit you, the street you are on, and what direction they went. Take photos and record videos of the accident scene, the damage done to your vehicle or bicycle, and the injuries you suffer. Sometimes, people get lucky enough to even capture a photo or video of the defendant’s car, license plate, or bicycle before they flee the scene. In more metropolitan settings, canvassing local businesses can sometimes yield to finding helpful video evidence.
  4. Find witnesses: If you notice any witnesses nearby who may have seen your accident, you should ask them for their name and phone number. You can write this information down and store it somewhere safe for your attorney.
  5. Seek the advice and assistance of a personal injury lawyer: Once you have been seen by a doctor, you should find a personal injury lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable in hit-and-run cases. They will know how to communicate with insurance companies and the defendant’s legal team as well as fight for your right to the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

What if the hit-and-run suspect cannot be located?

The sad truth is that most hit-and-run perpetrators aren’t caught. One insurance company puts the solve rate as low as 10%. So if you are injured in a hit-and-run, you will likely need to put in a claim through your own car insurance policy.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is designed to help people who have been in accidents with a driver who does not have enough (or any) insurance to cover the cost of a victim’s bodily injury harms. If you opted into this insurance, you can submit a claim through your own UM/UIM policy after a hit-and-run crash. In terms of property damage, if you have collision coverage you should be able to get your vehicle repaired or replaced if the at-fault party is never determined, less any applicable deductible. Even if you and/or the police have a lead on who may be responsible for your loss, it is often advisable to still pursue a first party collision claim so that your repairs or vehicle replacement are not unnecessarily delayed. In the end, if you determine that at-fault party your insurance company can always seek to be repaid from their insurer, if applicable, including reimbursement of your deductible.

You can also use your MedPay coverage for your medical expenses. Unlike your health insurance, MedPay doesn’t have deductibles or copays, which means you don’t have to put your hands in your own pockets. Medpay is accessible no matter who is at-fault for the accident and isn’t subject to subrogation. This is important because if for some reason you are found at-fault for the accident, or if the police find the person who hit and injured you (so you end up putting the claim through their insurance), your own insurance company cannot demand repayment for that part of your recovery. MedPay is there to help pay for related medical expenses no matter the circumstances.

If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to begin discussing what rights you have and the legal options you should pursue. Hit-and-run accident lawyers are experienced, skilled, and educated when it comes to these types of accidents.

Contact Member