Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident

After a hit-and-run car accident, you may feel shaken up and unsure of what to do next. While it's normal to feel rattled, it's important to remain calm and take the proper steps to protect yourself legally and ensure any injuries are treated. In this article, you'll learn the essential actions to take after a hit-and-run collision, from collecting evidence and filing a police report to seeking medical attention and contacting your insurance provider. Following these critical steps can help you handle the aftermath in the most effective way possible. With some knowledge and preparation, you can deal with a hit-and-run properly and make the process easier on yourself.

Remain Calm and Assess the Situation

After a hit-and-run accident, it is vital to remain calm and assess the situation before taking action. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries and call emergency services immediately if medical assistance is needed.

  • Survey the area to determine if the vehicle that hit you is still at the scene. Get the license plate number, make, model, year, color and any other details about the car and driver if possible. Take pictures if it is safe to do so.
  • Call the police to report the hit-and-run accident. Provide the dispatcher with the location of the accident, details about any injuries and a description of the vehicle that left the scene. Request that an officer come to the location to take an official police report.
  • Do not move your vehicle unless instructed to do so by the police or emergency responders. Leaving the vehicles in the original position of impact will help the police accurately assess what happened. Only move if your vehicle is disabled or poses a safety hazard.
  • Collect information from any witnesses who saw the hit-and-run take place. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses and written or recorded statements about what they observed. Provide this information to the investigating police officer.
  • Take down details about the accident scene like the location, time of day, weather and road conditions. Note traffic signs, signals or controls in the vicinity. All of these details may assist the police in finding the other driver.
  • Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the hit-and-run claim. They will walk you through the next steps to get your vehicle repaired or replaced and may be able to provide additional assistance.
  • Seek medical attention even if you do not feel hurt at the time of the accident. Adrenaline and shock can mask internal injuries, so get checked out by a doctor right away. Some injuries may not become apparent for hours after a collision.

Call the Police to Report the Hit-and-Run

After a hit-and-run accident, contacting the authorities is critical. You should call the police as soon as possible to report the incident. Provide the dispatcher with details about what happened, including the location of the accident and descriptions of the vehicles involved.

The police will dispatch officers to the scene to take an official report. Be prepared to give a statement about the events leading up to and following the collision. Share any evidence gathered at the scene, such as photos, videos or debris from the vehicles. The police report and your statement are important for insurance claims and potential legal action.

Even if there were no injuries, a police report establishes an official record of the accident. It can help identify the at-fault driver so their insurance provider can be contacted regarding damage claims. In some cases, police may be able to locate the other vehicle involved using details from your report and any evidence collected. They can then follow up with the owner regarding the hit-and-run.

Seek Medical Attention

After contacting the police, get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, even if you feel unharmed. Adrenaline and shock can mask pain from injuries, and some health issues may not appear for hours or days after an accident. A medical evaluation can properly assess your condition, provide necessary treatment and document any injuries for your records and insurance claims.

Your health and safety should be top priorities after a hit-and-run. Take care of yourself, get the authorities involved, and work with your insurance provider on next steps regarding damages and liability. Though a frightening experience, remaining calm and taking appropriate action can help resolve issues as smoothly as possible.

Gather Evidence From the Scene

Once the police have arrived at the scene of the hit-and-run, work with them to gather any evidence that could help identify the at-fault driver. Some key things to look for include:

  • Tire tracks or skid marks on the road. The pattern of the tracks may indicate the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Take pictures of the tracks from multiple angles.
  • Paint chips, dents, or other vehicle debris on the road. Carefully collect any shards of debris and note their location on the road. The color and texture of the paint can help determine the vehicle make and model.
  • Witness statements. Ask any witnesses if they saw or heard anything that could identify the vehicle, such as color, make/model, license plate number, or direction of travel. Get the witnesses' contact information so the police can follow up with them.
  • Surveillance footage. Check with nearby businesses or homes to see if any security cameras captured footage of the crash or the fleeing vehicle. Provide any footage to the police to aid in their investigation.
  • Damage to your vehicle. The location and type of damage to your vehicle can also provide clues, such as the height and make of the other vehicle's bumper or headlights. Take multiple pictures of the damage from different angles to share with authorities.

The more clues and evidence you can gather at the scene, the better the chances of the police identifying and locating the at-fault driver. Be thorough but remain calm and patient, as some evidence may not be discovered until further investigation. Work fully with the police to bring the irresponsible driver to justice and recover damages related to any medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, or other expenses resulting from the hit-and-run collision.

Seek Any Necessary Medical Treatment

After a hit-and-run accident, your health and safety should be your top priority. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience injuries or feel unwell. Even if you feel fine at first, the impact from an accident can cause internal damage or injuries that may not be apparent right away. It is always best to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible following any auto collision.

At the emergency room or urgent care center, the physicians and staff will examine you thoroughly to determine if any tests or procedures are needed. They may order imaging scans, X-rays or CT scans to check for injuries to your head, neck, spine, internal organs, or other areas. If fractures, sprains, strains or other issues are detected, you will receive proper treatment and care. The medical team can also prescribe pain medication if you are experiencing discomfort.

Before leaving the medical facility, be sure to obtain full documentation of your visit, including test results, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. This information will be important for insurance claims, legal matters, and your ongoing recovery. Even if initial tests come back normal, continue to monitor your symptoms closely in the days following the accident. See your doctor right away if you notice any changes or worsening in your condition.

Some signs to watch for that could indicate a medical emergency include:

  • Loss of consciousness or alertness
  • Slurred speech, blurred vision, dizziness or confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe pain, swelling or inability to move certain body parts
  • Bleeding or fluid leaking from the eyes, nose, ears or other areas

Your health and safety should remain the priority in this difficult situation. Do not delay in seeking medical care and be diligent in monitoring your symptoms even after the initial treatment. If any life-threatening or dangerous conditions are detected, call emergency services immediately.

Following a hit-and-run accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Texas car accident lawyer to determine your legal options. A qualified attorney can advise you of your rights and help you pursue compensation for damages.

Determine Fault and Liability

An attorney will review the details of your accident to establish fault and liability. If the at-fault driver cannot be identified, you may be able to file a claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Your lawyer can help you through the claims process to maximize the amount of compensation you receive.

Protect Your Rights

There are statutes of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, so time is of the essence. A lawyer will ensure that proper notices are filed, evidence is preserved, and necessary paperwork is completed to protect your rights to pursue damages. They can deal with insurance companies on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Calculate Damages and Lost Wages

The damages resulting from a hit-and-run accident can be substantial, including vehicle repairs or replacement, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced lawyer will work to determine the full extent of your losses and fight for maximum compensation under the law. They have the expertise to properly value even intangible damages like diminished enjoyment of life.

Demand a Fair Settlement

In many cases, a settlement can be negotiated with insurance companies instead of going to court. However, the settlement offer must fully and fairly compensate you for the harm you have suffered. A skilled attorney knows how to craft a persuasive demand letter, negotiate with insurance companies, and determine when an offer is reasonable or when it is better to proceed to litigation to get you the best result.

The aftermath of a hit-and-run accident can be complicated and stressful. Hiring an attorney who specializes in Texas car accident and personal injury law helps ensure your rights are protected and you receive just compensation for your losses. With legal counsel advocating on your behalf, you can focus on recovering physically and emotionally from this traumatic event.


While being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a scary and frustrating experience, following these steps will ensure you take the necessary actions to protect yourself both physically and legally. Staying calm, gathering information, contacting lawyers at Fletcher Law, seeking medical attention if needed, and contacting your insurance provider are all key in the aftermath of a hit-and-run. With the proper documentation and evidence, you can make sure any damages and injuries are covered. Most importantly, prioritize your safety and well-being first. Dealing with insurance and legal matters is secondary to taking care of yourself. Hopefully these tips will prepare you to respond appropriately should you ever encounter the unfortunate situation of a hit-and-run.