The Hit and Run, Auto Insurance, and What to Do Next
What should you do after a hit and run? From auto insurance issues to the practical next steps, take a look at the dos and don'ts that can make this stressful time easier for everyone involved.
Do Find a Safe Space
Is your car in the middle of the road? Are you on the side of a busy highway? You may need to leave your car where it is and move to a safe (or safer) space. It's tempting to call your insurance agent immediately as you assess the damage. But if you need to walk into traffic or stand near moving vehicles, wait until you're off the road.
Don't Let Your Car Cause Another Accident
Your hit and run incident could cause problems for other drivers. If your car isn't drivable or is blocking traffic, contact emergency services as soon as possible. The police or fire department may need to redirect traffic to keep other drivers safe. After the police arrive on the scene, you can file a report if needed.
Do Contact the Police and Your Insurance Provider
If you can drive your car and it isn't blocking traffic, should you still call the police? It's illegal for the driver of the other car to flee the scene. This means you'll need to file a police report. Contact the police as soon as you're in a safe space. Provide the authorities with as many details as you can about the other driver or their vehicle. The more information you can provide the police, the more likely it is they'll find the driver who hit your car.
After you call the police, contact your insurance agent or provider. You may need to give your insurer the police report as part of your claim. Even though you should file a claim with your insurer, your policy may not cover all the costs of a hit and run. Without the other driver's insurance to pay for your car's repairs or replacement, your policy is the lone source of coverage.
You may need specific types of coverage for your insurance to pay for hit and run-related repair, replacement, or medical costs. These could include collision, uninsured motorist bodily injury, uninsured motorist property damage, or personal injury coverage. Review your policy with the insurance agent/company to better understand what they'll pay for versus your out-of-pocket expenses. If your auto insurance will cover some of the costs, it's likely you'll need to pay your deductible first.