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What to do after a hit-and-run accident

You are driving along one fine evening when another car hits yours. Then it flees, leaving you confused and angry. Hopefully, this has never happened to you and never will. Just in case it does, though, it is good to know in advance what to do.

Make sure you get to safety and check that everyone else involved is also safe, then follow these tips:

Gather information

Write down the other vehicle's license plate number as well as its color, make, model and other relevant identifying details. You are probably under a lot of stress at this time, but do avoid chasing down the other vehicle. It may give police a reason to doubt your account of events; let the officers be in charge of finding the other driver.

Also note where the hit and run occurred and try to ascertain in which direction the other car was going when it left. If you know of any damage it may have sustained (a broken front bumper, for example), such details may help the police find the driver. If potential witnesses are involved, get their names and contact information as well.

Contact relevant parties

Your next step after information gathering is to get in touch with police (if you have not done so already), and then call your insurance company. It is also a smart idea to contact a personal injury attorney, even if your injuries seem minor. For example, neck pain may seem tolerable at first, but it might later develop into serious whiplash or spinal cord issues. You may deserve compensation for such injuries.

Speaking of injuries, it's wise to visit a doctor, even if you do not think you were hurt. Medical reports help keep your options open down the road, and you never know if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. In fact, some people who suffer personal injuries have to file bankruptcy due to medical bills, so personal injury compensation may be critical to your financial future.

Most attorneys offer free consultations for personal injury cases. Bring all the documentation that you can, and answer questions to the best of your ability.

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