Gathering as much information as possible at the scene is key to a positive resolution.

If you’ve been a driver for at least a few years, it’s likely that you’ve experienced minor dings or scratches from unknown drivers. While we grit our teeth at these small annoyances, what should you do if another driver hits your vehicle and speeds off?  

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to remain calm and gather as much information as possible for both your insurance company and the police. Thorough documentation will speed up the claims process and help you get your car repaired as quickly as possible. Here are some tips and best practices for handling a hit-and-run accident so you can be prepared if this unfortunate event happens to you.

Check for injuries: For any type of accident, it’s most important to make sure you and any passengers are okay. Call an ambulance if necessary and document any injuries sustained at the time of the accident.

Stay at the scene: Do not chase after the other driver hoping to catch them. This could result in further damage to yourself or others. Leaving the scene will also eliminate your ability to collect eyewitness accounts, a very important part of documentation for both the police and your insurance carrier.

Document what you know about the other driver: It’s important to write down as much information about the other driver, their car and the accident as possible. Useful information about the driver includes their car’s license plate number; the make, model and color of their vehicle; a description of the damage to their car; and the direction in which they were heading.

Describe the accident: Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and note the location, time and cause of the accident.

Collect eyewitness testimony: See if any bystanders can supply additional information about the accident. If possible, have them give you or the police an official statement describing the event. Make sure to gather their names and contact information. An eyewitness account is especially useful if you were not with your vehicle when the accident occurred.

File a police report: Even if the police do not show up to the scene of the accident, it is important to file a police report. The official accident report will help police search for the responsible driver and will be invaluable to you during the claims process.

Contact your insurance agent: Call your insurance carrier as soon as possible to file an accident claim. Provide them with all the documentation that you have gathered about the accident, as well as the number of the police report. The more information you can provide, the more efficient the claims process will be.

Remaining calm and following these tips will hopefully make a bad situation a little more bearable. Contact a HUB International personal insurance agent today for more information.