What to Do Following a Hit-and-Run Accident

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may be astonished in the moment and not sure what to do. Did someone really just hit you and flee the scene? Unfortunately, this happens, but you don’t have to suffer the consequences on your own. With the help of an automobile accident lawyer, like an automobile accident lawyer in Washington DC, you can strive to fight the case and hold the driver responsible. The following are some things to do immediately after the accident.

Stay Put

It could get dangerous for you to try and follow the individual who hit you, but it’s also illegal to leave the scene of an accident. If you are hit by someone who then flees, don’t make the decision to leave as well. Instead, stay where you are and begin to assess the situation.

Call the Authorities

Just like any other accident, you should call the authorities after you are in a hit-and-run accident. If you or someone else is injured, be sure to let the dispatcher know so that he or she can send proper help. While you’re on the phone, give the dispatcher as many details as you can remember. If you’re nearing the end of the call and suddenly remember a detail, be sure to include that before hanging up.

Collect Evidence

If you are able, try to get as good a glimpse of the car and driver as you can. Write it all down as soon as you can so you don’t forget anything. Oftentimes there are details that you remember as you’re talking or writing your way through what happened, so be sure you get it all on paper. If you’re injured or extremely shaky, dictate the information to your phone or to an officer. Some details to try to remember include:

  • License plate information such as any digits (even if you only saw a small portion), the state, a logo, or any other images on the car.
  • The make, model, and color of the vehicle.
  • Additions to the car, such as a bike rack, bumper stickers, trailer hitches, etc.
  • Any sounds the car made, such as squealing or a loud muffler.
  • The gender, estimated age, and nationality of the driver.
  • How many people were in the car.
  • Car damage such as scratches, dents, cracks, missing hubcaps, broken lights, etc.

Get in Touch with Your Lawyer

After being involved in a hit-and-run accident you’ll need some additional assistance to work through the process of getting compensated for injuries and damages to your car. Hope isn’t lost if the driver left the scene, so contact a car accident attorney today to get the assistance you need.

Thanks to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into what you should do if you are involved in a hit and run accident.


5 Things You Should Never Do After a Car Accident (In 2020)

After being in a car accident or personal injury situation, it is natural to panic and in the process take certain steps that might harm yourself in the future. If you or your loved ones have ever been in such a situation, you know well that it is difficult to keep calm after such a traumatic event. However, if you deal with the situation carefully and intelligently, it will ensure that you get a favorable verdict and fair settlement from the insurance company.

These kind of accidents are fairly common in the US and it is necessary to know the correct way to deal with them. With the following tips and tricks in mind, you will significantly increase the likelihood of a favorable verdict

Check out the top 5 things that should never be done after you’ve been in a car accident or personal injury scenario.

Delay seeking medical attention medical

After being in an accident, your first instinct should be to visit a doctor. Even if you cannot see any external injuries, it will be foolish to rule out a concussion or internal injury on the first look. Do not wait weeks or even days to consult a physician.

If you are seriously injured, immediately call emergency services. Calling 911 will ensure you reach medical facilities quickly.

In addition to preserving your health, this action will ensure that you have official records of the injuries sustained in the accident. These documents will prove to be immensely useful in a trial or insurance claim. It is important to have a record of the severity of your injuries and take exact notes of where you have been hurt.

Keep quiet about your ordeal Keep quiet

Although it is not advisable to share too many incriminating details about your accident with anyone, keeping completely mum about the whole ordeal isn’t the smart thing to do either.

Make sure you report your injuries to someone in a position of power, for instance, your employer, police, etc. This ensures that an official record is created of the date and time of your accident and gives you legal credibility to prove your case later.

Calling the police is also a good idea, to collect evidence from the scene and talk to witnesses if any. Witness testimonials and concrete evidence will make your case stronger and help you negotiate a better deal with the insurance provider.

Talk too much or give conflicting testimonials

Talking too much about your ordeal is also harmful in case you are seeking an insurance payout. Often, we end up saying things that can be used against us in court or during insurance settlements. The riskiest thing to do in this situation is to admit fault.

Even if you think you had a hand in the accident, do not admit fault or apologize for the accident to any of the concerned parties before a thorough investigation has been conducted. Perhaps, some new facts may come to light which would place the blame on something else or at least share it. Do not place liability with yourself in any case, as that may harm your chances of getting a fair settlement and even lead to your conviction in court.

It is also important to check what you are saying to officials immediately after the accident. If you tell a policeman that you have no injuries right after the accident, any injury you discover later might not be considered for compensation. Always visit a doctor and get a thorough check-up done before committing to any such statement.  

Avoid getting a lawyer or legal advice not approaching lawyer

No matter how smart we think we are, we should never assume that we can deal with the aftermath of the accident alone, without any legal help. It is imperative to hire a personal injury or accident lawyer immediately after the incident.

The lawyer will do all the fieldwork of gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, keeping a record of your injuries and expenses, etc. You will also get a fair settlement from the insurance company through legal aid.

If you think hiring a lawyer is expensive, you will find that there are many legal firms in the US who work on a contingency fee basis, that is they only charge money if you win the case and get the settled up compensation. This way, you will protect your legal rights as well as be saved from being cheated by insurance giants.

Settle for the first offer without further thought

Insurance companies seem like your best friend after an accident or personal injury, but remember that it isn’t so. Be very careful how to deal with your insurance adjuster, who is the person assigned by the company to settle a sum for your case. If you are too frank with him and share too many details, that information will be used against you later.

Do not accept a minimized offer from the adjuster without consulting a lawyer and getting an idea about the true value of your claim. You may find that you would have been running in losses of hundreds and thousands if you had settled for the initial offer from the insurance company. Contest for your claim and prove your case with legal aid to get the maximum payout.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to get a fair deal from the insurance company and seek compensation for your physical and mental ordeal owing to an accident or personal injury.

Important Evidence to Gather After A Car Accident

Top 5 Most Important Pieces Of Evidence to Gather After a Car Accident

Car accidents are one of the most traumatic incidents in a person’s life. If you or your loved ones have ever been in an accident, you would know how tough the phase is and how much trouble and pain it brings. In addition to that, you have to fight tooth and nail with the insurance company to get your dues. Overall, it can be the most difficult phase in life if you don’t have relevant information to guide you.

Bad times don’t come with a warning, so it is always wise to be prepared for such an event. When you are submitting your accident or personal injury claim to an insurance company, there are certain pieces of evidence you need to present to get a fair deal. Hence, it is important to keep these points in mind.

Here are the topmost important things you need to do after a vehicle accident, both immediately and subsequently.

Visit a doctor immediately emergency

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may feel like you don’t need a doctor. But the first instinct after such an incident should be to check yourself and others in the car for possible injuries. Sometimes, an injury might not be outwardly visible but it may affect you internally. So, it is also the smart thing to visit a doctor to rule out a concussion or internal injuries.

Additionally, documenting your injuries can be extremely helpful in your case against the insurance company. It helps to shed light on the severity of the accident and leaves little scope for the opposition to dispute your claims.

If you think you are unable to function properly, immediately call 911 and take an ambulance to the hospital. Apart from ensuring your safety, records with emergency services will ensure you get justified medical compensation after an accident. This is helpful to you, both in preserving your life as well as contesting against insurance giants.

Gather as much information as you can Gather as much information as you can

In case you or your loved ones are not seriously injured in the accident, your first priority should be to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Get basic facts about the other driver; for instance, his official name, address on the driver’s license, the car’s license number and the insurance provider of the other driver. If the other vehicle is a company car or commercial truck, it is imperative to gather the driver’s employer’s information for further use.

It is important to gather this information immediately as the driver might decide to leave the scene, thereby making the case that of a hit-and-run. In such a scenario, your information and any photos you have taken of the scene will come to be of great use while dealing with an insurance claim.

In case you have been seriously injured, you can rely on the law enforcement authorities to gather this information for you. But make sure you do not incriminate yourself by admitting fault in front of the other driver or discuss your predicament at length with external parties.

Check if there are traffic cameras nearby to record what happened. Also, note the traffic light sequence to register whether the other person had ran a red light. These things might sound minor compared to the accident at hand, but they will turn out to be extremely important in your case.

Take photos and take videos of anything you find relevant take photos of evidence

Taking extensive photo evidence from the scene of the accident is always a good idea. Make sure you capture as many angles of the incident as possible. Take pictures, not only of your own car but of all the cars and other vehicles involved in the accident. Capture in detail the damage caused to your own vehicle in a close-up view.

Pictures from the scene of the mishap can be incriminating evidence in a court case and help you prove your ordeal to get a fair settlement. Make sure to be very observant in the aftermath of the accident. Take pictures of damage caused to nearby property as well, like trees, fences, walls, etc. Also, take photos of your own injuries as well as any injuries sustained by your companions.

You can also take videos of the scene and the aftermath, but be careful if you are including any person in the video. Some states prohibit recording people without their consent, which may turn out to be unfavorable for you. Instead, take videos of the surroundings, damage to your own car and any other pieces of evidence around you. This way, you play safe and gather the information you need.

Rely on authorities to supply the information you need

If the accident you’ve been in is too severe, chances are you won’t be in a condition to gather evidence at the scene. In that case, the smartest thing to do is to wait for the authorities to gather information on the scene. Call 911, they will keep records of the incident details. Police reports always have good coverage of who was involved in the accident, what injuries were sustained and on which day and time the incident occurred.

Additionally, your medical records will come in handy when you present your case in front of the insurance company. If you are worried about how much authentic information can be gathered this way, you can hire a lawyer to do the groundwork for you. A lawyer will go through the hard work of gathering information and making your case stronger. He or she will also talk to witnesses and gather their statements, which will be helpful for your case.

Obtain and preserve records after the accident

Your ordeal is not over as long as you don’t get a fair settlement from the insurance company. For that, you will need to obtain certain records and preserve them to support your case. Hire an experienced car accident or personal injury lawyer to get all copies of medical records, bills, statements, and related information for future reference. This will include aftercare, such as chiropractor, physiotherapy, etc. The details of your diagnosis and treatment will strengthen your case.

These expenses are reimbursable from the insurance company. If your documentation is correct, you can claim all expenditures related to the accident, from transportation to medical advice. The injuries to your vehicle are also important and should be documented for future use. Any money you spent on repairs is eligible for compensation from the insurance company.

Following these guidelines during this difficult time will ensure you are given a fair settlement for your pain and troubles due to the car accident.

Things to Do After A Car Accident

5 Things That You Need to do After A Car Accident

Given the volume of traffic in this day and age, it is no surprise to hear about road accidents every once in a while. But you have to know that these things are pretty common and have nothing to do with how good a driver you are. Mistakes can occur anytime and accidents can be completely unpredictable.

So, it is not out of the ordinary to get into a car accident. But oftentimes people panic, which again is an involuntary reaction, and things might seem out of your hands but you need to stay calm and assess the situation for your own benefit.

If you own a car and are a regular driver then it will not hurt to know about the following things that you need to do after a car wreck. Maybe one or two of these might help you out in such an unfortunate event.

Here is the list of five things that you need to after a car accident:

Check For Injuries

Alright, I know what you are thinking- This is obvious. But you have to understand how crucial this is. Many a time people just try to focus on the external injuries but there might be a certain internal injury which you might not be instantly aware of or might not have the mental capacity to look for such things if you find an external wound. One of the most common injuries is a concussion. These can be dangerous as the effects take time to appear.

It is basically your brain getting jiggled in your skull after you hit your head. You might not feel much pain but if you can remember that you hit your head make it your primary concern to seek medical help as soon as possible since concussions can be very bad. Other common injuries are neck injuries, chest injuries, facial injuries etc.

Another thing that many people don’t know about is that depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to see a therapist. A trauma like that can affect a person psychologically and hence you need to be sure that you don’t have any psychological injuries.

Consider Hiring An Attorney

Car or truck accidents can leave serious damage for the victims involved. Even if you are careful mishaps do happen and sometimes they can be serious. Hiring an experienced attorney is necessary to ensure your rights are enforced and that you are compensated for your injuries.

Attorneys will help you understand the legal side of things and will let you know who will pay your medical bills, etc.  It is always a good idea to hire an attorney since they have a better understanding of the law and will do the legwork for you. If you hire a personal injury attorney, many get paid only if they successfully prove your claim; this will help you as there are often no upfront costs.

Notify The Police

This one of the prime things to keep in mind. Most of the time people are so distracted with injuries and damages (rightly so) that they forget about this. But you need to notify the authorities as soon as possible. You need to have the scene of the accident documented in a legal report.

Even if the accident is a minor one and no one is seriously injured it is advisable to do so. It ensures that anyone who has any kind of involvement in the accident is protected. It will also benefit you to call the authorities in case a lawsuit is filed in the future.

These reports are very important both for your lawyer and also for the insurance company that you will file your claim with.

Document The Accident

Documentation of the incident takes a higher priority when the damage is serious. Since if the fingers start point in the wrong direction and facts start becoming based on hearsay then things can get out of hand. If you can operate your smartphone camera snap as many pictures as you can from various angles that can document the damage done and can provide a full picture of the entire event.

Be sure to take an image of the license plate of both yours and the other person’s car. It is also highly important that you document your personal injuries and your medical bills. The damage photos might be required by the insurance company even though they will send a surveyor to survey the damages.

Unfortunately, mishaps do happen and one needs to be ready for them.

The above points should be kept in mind if one faces such an unfortunate event. 

Mistakes that people make after a car accident

5 Common Mistakes People Make After A Car Accident

Being in a car accident has to be a very traumatic experience for anyone. In these tough times, we often tend to make serious mistakes that can cost us later. Thus, it is important to know the correct steps to follow after being in an accident, as bad times always come unannounced.

If you or your loved ones have been in a car accident, there are certain steps that you need to take to ensure you get proper treatment and compensation for the accident. During that time, ensure you do not carry out these mistakes.

Check out the top 5 mistakes people make after a car accident:

Choosing not to get the police involved

Probably the worst thing you can do after being in an accident is think that you can manage the situation alone. Your first instinct should always be to call 911. Even if you or anyone else is not majorly injured, it never hurts to have a police report with all the details of the scene.

If the insurance company gives you grief about your claims, you can always refer to the police report to get important details. If the accident was not your fault, you have nothing to worry about. Just go ahead and call the police, as witnesses are always necessary.

Choosing not to seek the advice of an experienced attorney

Choosing not to seek the advice of an experienced attorney

After the police, the next professional on your mind should always be an experienced attorney. Again, do not think you can carry out negotiations with the insurance company alone. Mostly, huge organizations try to get out of paying much if anything to the victim. In such cases, an attorney can help you.

Several law firms in every state work for a very nominal fee and fight for accident victims against these insurance companies. Some of them even work on a contingent fee basis, which means you only have to pay them if they win the case. So, get an attorney and the compensation you deserve.

Leaving the scene of the accident.

After being in an accident, our first thought always goes towards the well-being of people involved, as should be the case. But in less serious cases, make sure there is someone to document the scene of the accident and take proper notes and photos for future reference. Also, if you leave the scene in a hurry, the police might think you are guilty and charge you with a hit-and-run.

Do not leave the scene of the accident without proper documentation. These overlooks on your part may cost you later if the opposite party denies some of the losses and damages you have incurred.

Choosing not to seek medical treatment

If you have been in an accident, it is imperative that you visit the emergency room and get yourself checked out, for obvious reasons first. Even if there is no external injury, you might have been hurt internally. So, it is always wise to visit a doctor after being in any kind of accident.

Another reason to seek medical treatment is to document that the accident occurred and take a note of your injuries, if any. While pursuing a claim from the insurance company, these reports will help solidify your position and ensure your ordeal is not treated lightly by anyone. A medical record of the incident is, thus, an essential part of your aftercare.

Posting public information about the accident.

In this era of smartphones, our first instinct after going through a tough ordeal is to share it on social media. We often find people sharing photos from the scene of an accident or even posting live videos during the incident. While this may appear a bold and transparent step, it may harm your interests later.

Anything you post on social media can be used against you. Even if the insurance company seems friendly on face value, know that their chief interest is to pay you as little as possible. So, your oversharing can lead to complications in the case and even cost you a lot of money. Be wise about what you are sharing with the world.

Although it is difficult to think clearly after being in a car accident, these basic steps should always be followed for your health and interest.