The sudden nature of a car accident can leave us alarmed, stressed, and disoriented. Hit-and-Run accidents may be even more startling because you have the guilty party fleeing the scene of an accident. This is against the law and is considered a crime.

If someone hits your vehicle and drives off, follow these steps:

Call the police: Hit-and-Run accidents happen suddenly. Once the shock of having another car collide with yours wears off, do your best to remember details about the accident: the color of the vehicle that hit you, the make and model, and the license plate (if you didn’t catch the whole license plate number, it’s okay. Write down as much as you can remember. Those details will help the police in their investigation)

Find out if there were any witnesses: If you see any witnesses at the scene of the accident, be sure to get their contact information in case either the police or your insurance company needs to reach them for information.

Take photos: If you can, take some photos of the accident scene and the damage to each vehicle.

Be sure to report the hit-and-run within 24 hours: it’s very important to report this within the 24 period because these incidents are considered crimes. Once you report the incident to the police, they may tell you to take your vehicle to a repair shop. It’s also a good idea to get the officer’s name, badge number, and phone number in case either you or your insurance company needs to follow up with additional questions. It’s extremely important to report this incident to the police. Otherwise, it may be deemed an “at-fault” accident by your insurer, thus increasing the cost of your insurance.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hit and Run Accidents?

These types of accidents are only covered by your insurance if you have collision coverage. Collision coverage is optional, but it is highly recommended that you get this coverage. If you choose not to, you may be responsible for paying for the damages to your vehicle.

Do I have to pay my insurance deductible after a hit and run accident?

Any time you file a claim through your insurance company, you are required to pay your deductible. Once you pay that, your insurance will kick in the cover the rest of the cost of your claim.

Will a hit and run accident increase the cost of my insurance?

As long as you report the accident to the police within 24 hours and your insurance company doesn’t deem the accident “at-fault”, your insurance shouldn’t be affected.

In the event of an accident, it’s important to remain calm, so you can gather yourself and focus on the important next steps you need to take. Getting all of the appropriate information from the police and the other parties is extremely important and will make the repair process that much easier.