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What should I do if I’m hurt in a hit-and-run car accident?

If you were injured in a car crash and the other party flees the scene without exchanging information, this is considered a hit and run. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence. The last recorded statistics by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety indicate a hit-and-run accident occurs in the United States every 43 seconds. 

In Missouri, there are two ways to obtain compensation for your injuries if the other driver left without warning. The first and generally preferred option is to work with the police to find the other driver and collect from their insurance company. But if they cannot be found, then you’ll need to collect from your own insurance company to cover your injuries. Here’s what our knowledgeable car accident attorneys recommend you do after being injured in a Missouri hit and run. 

6 Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Missouri Hit and Run

Whether or not the police can locate and identify the other driver, your initial actions will be the same.

1. Call the Police

A report from law enforcement can help to verify your injuries, damage to your car, and other details that you might not be able to remember. The police can also help locate the driver of the other vehicle. If possible, try to get the color, make, model, and license plate of the vehicle that hit you so you can provide this information to the officer.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Always protect your health. No matter how minor your injuries might seem at first, it’s critically important that you see a doctor and have your injuries documented right after the accident occurs. Waiting even a single day not only might make your condition worse but also make it more difficult to prove that your injuries are the result of the collision in question or that they are as severe as you claim. The insurance company may utilize the fact that you waited to see a doctor to try to show that you were not badly hurt. 

3. Gather Evidence

Do your best to collect as many details as you can. If there are witnesses, take down their contact information and get statements from them as soon as possible. Take pictures of your vehicle, the scene of the accident, your injuries, and anything else that seems relevant. Document your version of events as soon as possible, so you don’t forget or misremember anything. Collect debris that has been left behind from the vehicles, as this may give law enforcement information about the other vehicle. Keep all medical and car repair records, as these are evidence of the damage that was done.

4. Call Your Insurance Company

While you do need to notify your carrier about the accident and provide the basic information about what happened, be careful not to say too much until you speak with an attorney who specializes in representing people involved in automobile collisions. Insurance companies make money off of denying or paying as little as possible on claims. The insurer’s adjuster may manipulate whatever information you share with them to reduce your settlement later. 

5. Stay Away From Social Media

Although it might seem like a quick post to update loved ones would be harmless, insurance companies often check social media accounts for information to use against your claim. For example, a simple statement such as, “I’m alright” might be taken out of context to show that you weren’t as badly hurt as you claim.

6. Call an Attorney Who Specializes in Automotive Accidents

The lawyers at Beck & Beck only represent people who have been involved in traffic accidents. We have considerable experience in advocating for people like you and ensuring they receive a fair settlement to cover their losses, which could include everything from vehicle repairs and medical expenses and lost wages to emotional pain and suffering. 

How a Lawyer Can Help 

The car accident lawyers at Beck & Beck handle many essential details of your case including, but not limited to: 

  • Investigate the accident 
  • Preserve all documentation to support your case
  • Adhere to timely filing deadlines 
  • Advise you against accepting a damage settlement that’s too small
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf if your insurer isn’t cooperative with agreeing to a reasonable settlement, or if the other driver isn’t insured and you need to sue them directly.

Collecting From Your Insurance After a Hit and Run

If the other motorist can’t be located and you’re attempting to collect from your own insurance company, you’ll need:

  • An existing policy that covers uninsured motorists.
  • Proof that you were hurt and that the injuries you sustained were from a hit-and-run accident. 

Missouri law requires all insurance policies to cover at least $25,000 for accidents involving uninsured motorists, but some policies do cover more. The lawyers at Beck & Beck can help you to negotiate with your carrier if it’s not offering a fair settlement.

Contact a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Today

After suffering injuries in a crash that wasn’t your fault, contact one of the experienced car accident lawyers at Beck & Beck Attorneys as soon as possible. It’s always free to call us! Don’t talk to any auto insurance companies about your injuries or medical treatment—it’s important not to be taken advantage of or have your statement misunderstood.  

Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 314.200.1229 to schedule a free consultation. We help car accident victims all over Missouri including the cities and communities of Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis, Kirksville, Perryville, Union, Kirksville, Cuba, Hillsboro, Potosi, Troy, Doniphan, Steelville, Farmington, Festus, Ironton, and Cape Girardeau.