All car accidents can be terrifying experiences, but hit-and-run accidents come with an additional layer of stress and uncertainty.
Over the last decade in Louisiana, this type of accident has continued to become more common, which means that hit-and-runs are a serious risk for drivers in East Baton Rouge.
Prepare yourself in advance by learning what steps to take if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. Our team of East Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers is here to walk you through what to do if you’ve been hit by a driver who fled the scene.
Step 1: Stay calm and ensure your safety
Your first step is to make sure that you and all of your passengers are okay. If necessary, and if possible, move your car away from traffic.
If you or any of your passengers are seriously injured, call 911 for immediate medical help. Don’t attempt to move if your injuries are severe, as this could make them worse.
There is no need to chase the other driver, as it could put you in further danger. Even if law enforcement is unable to catch them after the accident, you may still be able to get compensation for your damages.
Step 2: Gather information
If you are sure that you and your passengers are not in any immediate danger, try to get a picture of the other vehicle, if possible. This will help identify the driver.
If you are not able to take a picture fast enough, try to take note of the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. Write down a description of the car and of the driver. The more information, the better.
Look for witnesses who can confirm the details of the accident, or even provide extra details that you were not able to catch. Gather their names and contact information.
Document the scene: Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, the surrounding environment, and any other details that show the extent of the damage caused by the hit-and-run.
Step 3: Contact law enforcement
As soon as you are able, call the local police, even if you weren’t able to gather the other driver’s information.
The police will visit the scene and create an accident report that is essential for you to file your insurance claim. They will also be able to open an investigation to locate and penalize the driver who fled the scene.
Ask for a copy of the police report once it’s finalized, so that you can use it in your claim.
Step 4: Get medical attention
After you have taken all the necessary steps at the scene of the accident, seek immediate medical attention.
Even if you don’t think that you have any serious injuries, it is important to see a doctor. They will make sure that there are no hidden injuries, such as a concussion, which can get worse with time.
Keep all documents related to your visit and eventual medical expenses. You will need them to file your claim and seek compensation.
Step 5: Contact your insurance company
Open a claim by calling your automotive insurance carrier.
Tell your agent that the driver who hit you fled the scene before you were able to gather their information. Share with them all other relevant information, including witness contact information, the description of the other car and driver, and the circumstances of the event.
Even if the police are unable to locate the other driver, you may still be entitled to compensation if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Step 6: Contact an attorney
To best represent your well-being and personal interests, hire a personal injury attorney to help you file your claim and get adequately compensated.
Regardless of your relationship with your insurance company, they may still resist providing full compensation for your injuries, especially following a hit-and-run accident. This is difficult to manage, especially on top of the stress of the accident itself.
Having a team of experienced attorneys on your side helps you focus on your recovery, without the stress of fighting with your insurance company.
Contact Pierce & Shows Baton Rouge Accident Lawyers Today
The dedicated team of Pierce & Shows car accident lawyers will negotiate with your insurer on your behalf, so you can focus on your recovery. We will also perform our own investigation to help identify and locate the driver who hit you.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident in East Baton Rouge or across Louisiana, contact us today to schedule a consultation.