What to Do If a Hit-and-Run Driver Causes Your Car Accident in the US

What to Do If a Hit-and-Run Driver Causes Your Car Accident in the US

A hit-and-run accident is a nightmare scenario. In the aftermath of a crash, you may feel shock, anger, and confusion as the other driver flees the scene. However, knowing the right steps to take can save you significant stress and secure the compensation you might need.  


Resources shares, “Hit-and-runs are frighteningly common, and they leave victims with physical injuries, expensive car repairs, and legal uncertainty.” 


Don’t panic — this guide will get into exactly what to do if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the US.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Immediate Actions After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Moments after a hit-and-run accident are chaotic and filled with adrenaline. However, the choices you make immediately afterwards have a huge impact on your safety, the potential to find the driver, and your ability to recover costs for injuries and damages.


Here’s what to do after a hit-and-run accident. 

Ensure Your Safety and Check for Injuries

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Jacksonville, safety is the first priority. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location at the side of the road or a nearby parking lot. This prevents further accidents and allows you to assess the situation.


Plus, assess yourself and any passengers in your car for injuries. Even seemingly minor pain could be a sign of something more serious. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move a severely injured person unless they’re in immediate danger.

Collect Information

Your memory will be freshest right after the accident, so collecting information is crucial. Like. 


  • Make, model, and color the car.
  • License plate number (even if partial).
  • Any distinguishing features (dents, bumper stickers, unique paint job).
  • The direction the vehicle fled.

Report the Accident to the Police

Even if you have very little information, reporting a Jacksonville car crash hit-and-run to the police is essential. Call 911 if there are injuries or significant property damage, otherwise contact your local police department on their non-emergency line.


Plus, be as thorough as possible when describing the accident to the police. Even a small detail you think is insignificant could help identify the driver who fled. And don’t forget to Ask for a copy of the police report. This document will be crucial for insurance claims and any potential litigation.


Even if you feel overwhelmed or unsure if the damage is bad enough to warrant police involvement, always err on the side of caution. Reporting the hit-and-run early on strengthens your position and creates an official record of the incident.

Steps to Take Following the Accident

The immediate aftermath of the accident is crucial, but the following days and weeks are also important to secure your wellbeing and protect your legal rights.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t require immediate medical attention, it’s wise to see a doctor for a thorough examination. Some injuries, like whiplash, can take time to manifest symptoms. Having a medical record establishes a link between the accident and the injuries you might later discover.


Plus, if your doctor recommends treatment, physiotherapy, or medication, be diligent about following their advice. Skipping appointments or not taking your medicine could weaken your insurance claim or a potential lawsuit.


And make sure to save all medical bills, receipts for medication, notes on appointments, and any communication with your healthcare providers. These will be necessary for calculating the costs of your injuries.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you’re unsure of the extent of your damages. Many insurance policies have deadlines for reporting accidents.


Further, inquire whether your policy includes this type of coverage. It can protect you if the hit-and-run driver is never found or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your expenses. And be ready to provide your insurer with all the details from the accident, a copy of the police report, and any photos or witness information you collected.

Consider Consulting an Attorney

If your injuries are severe, there’s uncertainty about insurance coverage, or you’d like help tracking down the hit-and-run driver, an experienced Jacksonville car accident lawyer can be an invaluable asset.


Attorneys understand the intricacies of dealing with insurance companies and can help protect your rights throughout the process. Plus, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay unless they secure compensation for you. 

Potential Consequences for Hit-and-Run Drivers

Leaving the scene of an accident isn’t just a sign of bad character, it’s a crime with far-reaching consequences. If caught, hit-and-run drivers face a wide range of penalties, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and your state’s laws. 


These penalties can include. 


  • Criminal Charges: Depending on the severity of the accident, hit-and-run could be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor charges might mean fines and some jail time. Felony convictions, especially if there are injuries or fatalities, can cause significant fines and years in prison.


  • License Penalties: Hit-and-run almost always leads to the suspension or even full revocation of a driver’s license. This can have a devastating impact on someone’s life and ability to work.


  • Civil Lawsuits: In addition to criminal charges, the victim of a hit-and-run can file a civil lawsuit against the driver. This seeks compensation for damages to their vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


Even if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, identifying the hit-and-run driver dramatically improves your chances of receiving full compensation. It solidifies their responsibility for the accident. If they have insurance, it can then cover the costs of your injuries and damages.

Wrap Up

While a hit-and-run accident is a stressful and frustrating ordeal, staying calm and taking the right steps can make a huge difference. Remember, your safety comes first. 


By collecting evidence, reporting the accident, seeking medical attention, and working to understand your insurance and legal options, you give yourself the best chance of recovering what you’ve lost — both physically and financially. 


Don’t face the aftermath of a hit-and-run alone — use the information and resources available to protect your rights.