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What should I know about hit-and-runs?

Even a minor bump on your car’s rear bumper from another car can be a day-derailing distraction. However, the situation becomes much more complex when the other person involved in your minor accident suddenly decides to drive away from the scene. Now the situation is worse: a hit-and-run accident.

Fortunately, most basic protocols surrounding dealing with an automobile accident also apply to hit-and-run accidents. According to State Farm, with a hit-and-run accident you should make sure to stay at the scene and interview any potential eyewitnesses.

Letting the culprit go

As you see the other car drive away, you may have an initial desire to hop in your own vehicle and drive after them if at all possible. However, you should never do this. If any eyewitnesses are present and they see both cars drive off after an accident, it will make the post-accident cleanup much more difficult for you.

Instead, adhere to standard procedure. Move your car out of traffic if necessary and call 911 if anybody has sustained an injury. If nobody has sustained an injury, simply call the police non-emergency number in order to file a police report. This will help you with your insurance company later.

The eyewitnesses

Eyewitnesses are very useful in a hit-and-run accident. Particularly since many people carry smartphones, this means that a savvy eyewitness may have taken photo or video evidence of the culprit fleeing the scene. If the eyewitness was able to get a license plate number or a photo of the culprit, this will make it much easier for the police to track them down. Hit-and-run accidents may be frustrating, but it is always best to keep your cool.