10/21/2010 1:30:09 AM
HIT AND RUN AUTO ACCIDENTS WHAT TO DO?
The most common immediate reaction most people experience after any serious automobile accident is shock. No matter how many car accidents you were involved in during your lifetime, these events are almost guaranteed to immediately frighten and disorient any driver. It becomes especially hard to concentrate on what to do if the driver who just caused the accident does not stop and flees the scene. There are several things all motorists should know to do and not to do when confronted with a hit and run situation.
One thing the victims of the hit and run collisions should not attempt is to chase or try to make the other car stop. Over the years several of our clients, have attempted to chase the fleeing vehicle that hit them, with very limited success. On a couple of occasions they were able to write down the license plate number of the fleeing car, which is of course important and should be done if safety is not compromised. Nevertheless in a couple of other instances the chases resulted in very dangerous subsequent impacts arguably unrelated to the original collision. Even though the subsequent impacts were minor, the innocent drivers who were injured in the original impact had complicated their personal injury claim. Insurance companies raised the question of when was the injury caused: was it caused by the first collision that was the fault of the fleeing vehicle or by the second, which was arguably the fault of the chasing car?
Instead of risking a dangerous chase, one should immediately try to write down the license plate number. If by the time you realize a hit and run occurred, the other car has already fled, stop and immediately look for potential witnesses. Someone else might have seen the impact and written down the plate number. After that you should immediately call the police and request that they send a unit to the scene to make a report. They will usually not deny that request especially if you were injured in the accident. Sometimes they state that you should come down to the station to make a report.
Since insurance companies do not particularly like hit and run claims as historically a significant percentage of them were proven to be fraudulent, police reports made at the scene within a short time of the accident itself, while the shock and anxiety associated with the event is still evident in one’s behavior, may eliminate doubt about the honesty of the injured claimant. And of course if you were able to secure a witness who will corroborate your version of the accident, your case becomes much stronger. If the police just would not come out to the scene, do not procrastinate in making the police report at the station and try to go to the nearest police station immediately after the accident.
If you were injured as a result of a hit and run accident, it is definitely in your best interests to hire an experienced personal injury hit and run accident attorney.
This article was written by Vadim Liberman, an attorney who for over 20 years has been representing clients involved in hit and run accidents. He can be reached at his law firm, Liberman Law Group at (877) 399 - 5877 toll free or at (323) 931-5577, or through his website www.la-accidentlawyers.com