4 Steps to Take After a Hit and Run
No one ever anticipates being involved in a car accident, let alone one where the at-fault driver flees from the scene. Despite the penalties that Oklahoma has in place for these cases, hundreds of hit and runs happen every year. Although it may seem as if recovery and compensation in these instances are impossible, there are many things that you can do to ensure that you have the most desirable outcome.
Here are four things you can do if injured in a hit and run accident:
#1. Report the Accident to the Police
When a driver causes a hit and run in Oklahoma, they could face both civil and criminal charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the injuries sustained. This is why it's crucial to report the incident to the police as soon as possible.
If someone in the vehicle is uninjured, have them immediately call the police to report the incident and any information about the at-fault driver they can remember:
- Vehicle characteristics
- Partial or total license plate number
- Driver description
- Injuries of others in the vehicle
Depending on the circumstances, this information may be difficult to remember. Nevertheless, having a written record of this filed with the police department can help you with your insurance claim. In the days following, if the accident took place in a popular area, you may be able to talk with shop/homeowners to uncover possible video footage of the accident to use as evidence or to find the driver.
#2. Seek Medical Attention
One of the most crucial things you can do after any car accident is to seek medical attention. Doing so ensures the health and safety of not only you but any passengers that may have been in the vehicle at the time of the hit and run. Remember, many car accident injuries may take hours, if not days, to show up, so going to the doctor within 72 hours of your accident should be a priority.
When seeking medical treatment for a hit and run, you will want to document the cost, severity of your injuries, and if any follow-up appointments, surgeries, or additional treatment is required for you to fully heal. Should you choose to pursue legal action, having these documented will be important evidence for your attorney to use to determine the appropriate settlement.
#3. File an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists in the country. Because of this, the Oklahoma Insurance Department recommends that all motorists obtain Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in addition to their minimum insurance requirements. By doing so, any bodily injury that occurs in a hit and run will be taken care of without having to pay out of pocket.
Since you are probably unaware of who caused the hit-and-run accident, your insurance company will most likely treat it as an uninsured motorist. In these circumstances, you will want to file an uninsured motorist claim so that you or any injured passengers have medical costs covered.
Other additional forms of coverage may also be useful in these cases. Double-check your policy if you are unsure of whether you have collision coverage or medical payments coverage, as these can cover vehicle damages and medical costs following a hit and run.
#4. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If the hit and run resulted in your injury or that of any passengers in the vehicle, you could be entitled to compensation for a personal injury claim and may need to speak with an attorney. Working with the right lawyer can help ensure that you have taken the necessary steps to file claims and protect you from receiving unfair compensation.
Trust the Attorneys at Aizenman Law Group
Choosing the right attorney for your case is crucial. At Aizenman Law Group, we understand how complex hit and run cases can be and aim to provide the representation you deserve until justice is served. To schedule a free initial consultation with our team, call (918) 215-8856 or fill out this short form.