If you're ever in an auto accident in Pennsylvania, it can leave you reeling as you have to deal with painful, expensive injuries, the stress and costs of car repairs or replacement, and the back and forth with various insurance companies on top of everything else you have going on in your life. When another driver is at fault, it can already feel deeply unfair that you have to deal with the consequences of their negligent actions. When that negligent party goes so far as to commit the crime of leaving the scene of the accident, leaving you without their help or the information that you need from them, then you may be understandably angry, frustrated, and bewildered.
However, just because the other driver failed to do the right and legal thing, that doesn't mean you're left without options. You may still be able to get help, gather evidence, and recover the damages that you need.
What to Do Right After Getting Hurt in a Hit & Run
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents happen frequently in Pennsylvania, especially in Philadelphia. If you're ever crashed into by a hit-and-run driver, what you should NOT do is try to chase them down.
Instead, try to do the following after being in a hit-and-run accident:
- Pull over or stop in a safe spot
- Call 911
- Assess/help any injured people if you're able
- If you can, take photos of the scene and car damage
- Take down witness information if possible
Especially with a hit and run, it can be beneficial to call the police. They can file a report for the accident and include that the other driver left the scene of the crash without exchanging information or giving aid, and they might even be able to help track down the other driver for you. If you're hurt or anybody else might be, it's also critical to get EMTs on the scene. Even if you don't think you feel injured, the shock and adrenaline that follow a crash can mask the pain or injuries you've sustained. It's important to get a medical assessment right away so that you can get the medical treatment you need without delay.
If you've recently been in a hit and run where someone got hurt or your car was damaged, and you didn't call the police, you'll need to report the accident yourself as soon as possible.
How Can I Pay for Medical Costs & Car Repair After a Hit & Run?
Your health and safety come first, but after you've taken care of all the urgent matters, who's going to pay for everything? If you don't have another driver to sue, then you might be able to file a claim through your own insurance company. That said, if you only have minimum liability coverage, this insurance is typically meant to cover the costs of other people if you are the one who caused an accident. It probably won't help if you're the victim of a hit and run.
Similarly, if you have fault-based insurance, but you can't track down the driver who is at fault, then you may need law enforcement or a lawyer to find them, in which case you could then proceed with an injury lawsuit.
The types of policies that could get you covered by your own insurance company include:
- No-fault insurance
- Collision coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
How to Protect Your Rights After a Hit & Run
Even if you have the right types of coverage, and even when you've clearly been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, insurance companies are still going to be stingy. They're out to protect their bottom line, not your best interests. That's why it helps to have a dependable lawyer on your side. With the right lawyer, you can be fully aware of your options and have an advocate who will make sure that insurance does its job.
If you want to talk to a hit-and-run accident lawyer in Pennsylvania, call (888) 498-3023 to reach Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC for a free consultation. If you hire us, you'll pay us nothing until we win your case.