Minor fender-benders on their own are stressful, but watching the other party involved in your auto accident drive away is a special variety of frustrating. Understanding what to do in the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is vital.
Even though you may want to get back in your car and drive after the culprit, this is a poor idea. According to State Farm Insurance, the most important thing you can do in the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is stay put.
Why can I not give chase?
The biggest problem with getting back in your vehicle and chasing after the culprit of your hit-and-run is that it will confuse bystanders. If a witness sees both you and the other party collide and then witnesses both cars driving off, that witness will not know who was at fault in the accident. This can cause you serious problems with your insurance and with potential legal claims.
The first thing you should do after any accident is assess everybody for injury. If anybody sustained injury, call 911. If nobody sustained injury, make sure that the car is not in the middle of traffic and then call the police non-emergency number. Making a police report will help you with your insurance and also may be necessary if you wish to take the culprit to court for damages.
What else can I do?
Make sure that you talk to any witnesses. Considering how most people have smartphones, it is possible that somebody got either video or camera footage of the accident. Particularly if the bystanders were able to get a photo of the culprit’s license plate, catching him or her will be much easier.