How To Best Respond To A Hit & Run Accident In Philadelphia
Being involved in a hit and run accident can be a traumatic experience, leaving you feeling shaken and unsure of what to do next. While remaining calm in such a situation can be difficult, it is important to take action quickly to protect yourself and increase the chances of finding the responsible party. Here are some steps on how best to respond to a hit and run accident in Philadelphia.
Step 1: Stay at the Scene and Check for Injuries
Check for any injuries, both on yourself and on any passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident. Call 911 as soon as possible. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible, such as the location of the accident, a description of the other vehicle, such as its make and model, license plate number, any identifying details about the driver, and the direction they were traveling. The police will try to locate the responsible party and arrive at the scene to investigate.
Step 2: Gather Information
If you can, try to gather as much information as possible. Use your phone or camera to take photos of the damage to your vehicle and any other property involved in the accident, such as traffic signs or poles. These photos can be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company, as they provide evidence of the damage sustained in the accident.
Step 3: Talk to Witnesses
If any witnesses may have seen what happened, ask for their contact information and if they can make a brief statement, which you can record on your phone. This information can be critical in identifying the other driver and holding them accountable for the accident.
Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and provide them with the information you have gathered. You will typically be asked to give the date and time of the collision, the location, the names and contact information of any witnesses, a description of the damages to your vehicle, and any information you have on the other vehicle involved. Insurance companies often work with the police to help identify the at-fault driver to resolve the claim.
Since Pennsylvania is a no-fault car insurance state, you should have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to injuries sustained in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. Your insurer will review your PIP coverage to determine what types of damages are covered under your policy.
Step 5: Consult a Lawyer
If you have been severely injured in the accident or your damages exceed your coverage, consult an experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer. They will have the resources to work with the police and also investigate the crash themselves in an attempt to find the at-fault party. They can speak to eyewitnesses, search for video footage, hire accident reconstruction experts, etc.
An attorney will also help you navigate the claims process and will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you recover fair compensation.