It does not matter how minor the traffic accident is, as even a tiny fender-bender can ruin your day. However, the headaches related to automobile accidents quickly multiply when you watch the other person involved in the collision drive away from the scene.
Hit-and-run accidents are not only offensive, they also turn a simple fender-bender into a crime scene. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, make sure that you stay at the scene of the crime and try to talk to any eyewitnesses to the accident.
When a crash becomes a crime
Driving off from the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. This is why you should stay where you are, even if it is tempting to drive after the other person who is fleeing. Instead, you should only move your car if it is in the flow of traffic after the accident.
The next steps are similar to what you would do after any type of car accident. Call 911 if anybody needs medical attention, and make sure that you call the non-emergency police number if not. Having a police report will make dealing with your insurance much easier later.
Documenting the scene
If you have a smartphone or digital camera, make sure to take pictures of any damage done to your vehicle or surrounding property. In addition, try to talk to any eyewitnesses who saw the accident. Since so many people have smartphones, it is possible an eyewitness was able to get video or photo images of the fleeing driver. This evidence, if it exists, may make it easier for the police to find the culprit.
Holding the other driver accountable for the accident
Once the police find the other driver, you could consider a personal injury lawsuit to hold that driver responsible. This option is available if the other driver’s reckless or negligent driving contributed to the crash and can help cover the expense of any needed medical treatment or car repairs after the accident.