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Iceni Magazine | March 1, 2024

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What steps to take if you are involved in a hit and run accident in California?

hit and run accident

Car accidents occur quite frequently in California. Fortunately, California law is quite well regulated in this regard.

No matter what kind of accident you encounter, there are many measures you can take to get the compensation you deserve. One of the most frequent car accidents in California is a hit and run. A hit and run refer to a situation where the party at fault flees the scene, leaving the victim to deal with the aftermath. Hence, knowing what to do if involved in a hit and run accident is important because the situation escalates rapidly. 

What steps can you take after a hit and run accident?

Suppose you’re driving down the street while adhering to the speed limit. All of a sudden, another vehicle collides with yours. It doesn’t matter whether the collision took place with extreme force or if it was a light brush; you’re likely to be overwhelmed. Before you can sort things out with the other driver and inquire about why they crashed into you, they have fled the scene. What do you do now? Well, here are some relevant steps that can help you deal with things.

Gather details and call the authorities:

It’ll be hard to bring yourself back to the present, but that’s the first step. You need to gain control over yourself and write down whatever details you remember about the fleeing party. This could entail a description of the driver or the vehicle, including the car’s model, color, and license plate. If there were observers nearby, you could also ask for any information they can recall. Noting which direction the other vehicle headed off will also be beneficial. Then, you can call the police. Once they arrive, using the information you’ve gathered, you can file a police report. The authorities will begin looking for the person responsible for the accident and charge them according to the damage. 

Get medical assistance:

Whether minor or significant, whatever injuries you suffer should receive immediate attention. Hence, calling for an ambulance if you feel like the damage is too severe, or driving to the hospital if you feel like you can sustain it, is the next best thing. It would help if you also collected all the medical bills and prescriptions against the injuries you got due to the accident. These will come in handy when charges against the fleeing party need to be finalized.

File a claim:

Now that you’re all patched up, you should reach out to your insurance company and file a claim for the damage against yourself or your vehicle. Many insurance companies have a time limit for such claims, so make sure you file it as soon as possible. If you were unfortunate enough to have any passengers in the vehicle with you and there were any fatalities, then you might want to look into furthers claims beyond vehicle repairs, such as how to start a wrongful death lawsuit and what this involves.

Final word:

Hit and run accidents leave the victim quite vulnerable. You can also approach an attorney if you feel overwhelmed by the process. Keeping these steps in mind will help you approach such a situation with a calm mind, and you’ll receive your rightful compensation in no time.

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