What to do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Los Angeles
Driving an automobile on the roads of Los Angeles is a practice in Chaos Theory, meaning that all it takes is one tiny blip or error to mess the whole thing up, regardless of how safe of a driver you are. And that one little blip could be a hit-and-run.
A hit-and-run could strike you down like lighting. Anytime, anywhere.
They happen often, too. In 2015 alone, over 700,000 reported hit-and-runs occurred in the U.S.
And those are just the ones that get reported.
A hit-and-run accident can be a frustrating, traumatic event. Afterward, you might at a loss as to what your next move should be.
While you might not be able to prevent a hit-and-run from occurring outright, knowing what steps you should take after a hit-and-run is vital.
More than anything, you should contact an experienced group of Los Angeles attorneys. Our California auto accident attorneys will give you the legal guidance you need.
Contact Emergency Personnel and Report the Accident
This should go for any automobile accident, but your first step should be to call 911, hit-and-run or otherwise.
If you or one of your passengers is injured, getting an ambulance and medical attention headed your way as soon as possible should be your top priority.
A hit-and-run occurs so fast and strikes you so hard and so randomly, the details of the accident are likely to slip through your fingers.
Getting the police to the scene of the crime to share the details you remember as fast as possible will help you in the long run.
Once the police officer arrives at the scene of the crime, they will start the process of filing a police report. It is imperative at this step that you remain as calm and level headed as you possibly can.
Since so much of this report will rely on your memories and recollections, you should strive to not let your emotions color the report you give. Be factual, don’t exaggerate, and tell the officer everything you remember.
It goes without saying, but relay every kernel of information you have about the driver who hit you, everything you can remember.
Document All Available Information
This step goes along with the above step but is just as crucial.
Your silver bullet in this situation would the other driver’s license plate number. Obviously, not everyone’s mind will work like quicksilver. After a hit-and-run occurred, the mind might go blank. The driver will take off, leaving you in the dust.
But, if you did so happen to get their license plate number, relay it to the officer. The license plate number will lead to a quick deduction as to who exactly hit you and drove away.
However, that ideal situation isn’t always the one that occurs. Often, you will suffer a hit-and-run without any clue as to the other driver’s license plate.
If not the license plate number, make sure you relay any information about the other driver’s car. The make or model of the car will help, as will the color and condition of the car. Any specifics about the car’s exterior, something out of the ordinary, will also help the police narrow down the suspect.
Any other bits of information might help the investigation; the time of day and weather conditions are worth mentioning.
Specifics of the road could help, too.
Quite frankly, any bits of information you can summon from your memories will help when a hit-and-run occurs.
Identify and Obtain the Information of Witnesses
Another silver bullet in your chamber is a witness’ testimony.
Obviously, a perfect witness to your hit-and-run isn’t always available. A hit-and-run can happen anywhere at any time. It might have just been you and the other driver on the road at the time of the accident.
However, if you do notice there was a witness to your accident, talk to them as soon as possible.
Approach them and ask them if they saw your accident happen. If so, ask if they would mind being listed as a witness to the crime. If yes, then begin to exchange information with them.
Get their full name and contact information. Then, have them give you a thorough description of the accident, as they saw it happen. Again, get them to describe the event to you as clearly as they can, without letting the emotion of energy of the incident affect the telling.
From there, inform them that you’ll be sharing their testimony with your lawyer and your insurance company.
While not always accessible, a third party’s non-biased testimony will do your hit-and-run case wonders.
Contact A Lawyer and Your Insurance Company
Before speaking with your lawyer, you should seek the legal advice of lawyers experienced with cases just like yours.
An insurance company is a company, so at the end of the day, they will not seek to compensate you the full amount you’re seeking. Getting the help of a lawyer before you speak with them is always advised.
Once you start talking to your insurance company, you’ll want to give them a clear, succinct telling of the hit-and-run. Explain to them exactly what happened, without exaggerating or lying.
They will most likely ask for a copy of the police report, among with other things they deem necessary.
From there, the process of receiving your compensation will begin.
Contact Los Angeles Injury Group
A hit-and-run is something no one can prepare for. You might be traumatized or even injured after an accident. And with the driver nothing more than a fleeting memory, you might feel lost.
However, you are not hopeless after a hit-and-run.
Contact Tawni Takagi and the Los Angeles Injury Group after you suffer a hit-and-run. Call the law offices of Tawni Takagi at (310) 954-7248.
With years of experience in handling cases like yours, our California hit-and-run attorneys will help get you the compensation you deserve.