Steps to Take Immediately Following a Hit and Run Accident in Santa Barbara

May 30, 2022

Another driver hit your car, and you expected them to stop and exchange contact information and insurance details with you. Instead, they fled the scene. This is called a hit and run crash. So, what do you do? First, remain calm. You’re understandably confused, maybe injured, probably angry, and dealing with major vehicle damage. However, it’s important to follow these steps to ensure your safety and protect your claim.

Call The Police ASAP

While waiting for the police to arrive, record everything that you can remember about the hit and run driver’s vehicle on your phone or a piece of paper. Take detailed photos of the accident scene as well. The police follow a protocol when dealing with car accidents, so you just must follow their lead. Give them your statement about the crash and the things you recorded.

DO NOT Try to Follow The Driver

It can be very tempting but resist the urge to track down the driver. This is not your job. Leave it to the police. Trying to go after the hit and run driver can be extremely dangerous, not only to other road users but to yourself as well, if you end up causing another crash or violating any traffic laws just to catch up with the driver. Also, the driver may have fled because they were running from the police, and they could be armed and dangerous.

Get Yourself Checked

Head to the emergency room or call 911 if you or others have been injured. But even if you don’t feel injured or in pain following the crash, you should see a doctor to make sure that you’re fine and create a medical record of the event. Tell your doctor that you’ve been in a hit-and-run crash.

Make sure to monitor how you’re feeling in the coming days because symptoms of certain injuries, such as whiplash and traumatic brain injuries, can take some time to develop. If you feel any new pains or aches, go back to your doctor right away.

Consult With a Santa Barbara Car Accident Attorney

The police may not be able to find the driver, and you’ll still need to deal with your case. If the driver is found, they may also be uninsured or underinsured. A Santa Barbara car accident attorney with experience in hit-and-run accidents can guide you, deal with insurance providers, and protect your interests. Having an attorney by your side is particularly helpful if you’re suffering from serious injuries because you can focus on recovering while they work on your case.

Report The Crash to Your Insurance Provider

If the hit-and-run driver can’t be found or if they don’t have insurance, your own insurance company may shoulder your losses, but only if you have the necessary coverage.

Speak to a Skilled Santa Barbara Car Accident Attorney Now

If you’ve suffered injuries or vehicle damage following a hit and run crash, contact Bamieh & De Smeth online or call 805-643-5555 to find out more about your case and ensure that you get all your losses covered.