A hit and run accident can be traumatic. After all, one minute you are driving along the road or perhaps walking across a road, next minute another car has smashed into you and has simply taken off without providing any insurance details. Since 2006, it has been estimated that around 682,000 hit and run accidents happen every year. Most of the time the victims were riding a bike or were pedestrians. However, hit and runs can also happen to other vehicle drivers. That’s why you should not feel deterred to make a compensation claim.
You may be feeling a little nervous about getting compensation for your “hit and run” accident. After all, without a perpetrator, you may be asking yourself how you could even make a compensation claim to begin with. This is where Gowing Law can help you. All you need to do is get in contact with our specialist road traffic accident (RTA) team as quickly as possible. We can take you through your claim and let you know how our lawyers can help you. Click the button below to learn more about traffic accident claims:
What is a “hit and run” accident?
Normally, when you think about “hit and run” accidents, you think about screeching tyres, a car striking another vehicle or a pedestrian and then fleeing from the scene of the crime. Well, honestly, they don’t have to be dramatic. Usually, they involve someone getting hurt and the person “at fault” leaving the scene of the crime. A vehicle doesn’t even need to be moving for it to be a hit and run. If a vehicle backs into a parked car an drives off then this is still an example of a hit and run.
Of course, no one likes to admit that they messed up when they were driving on the road. You might feel that if you did this by accident you would be naturally inclined to leave the scene as quickly as possible to avoid punishment, an altercation with an angry driver or pedestrian or even to avoid talking to the police. However, this is still illegal. If you were caught doing this then damages will be pressed, including:
- Criminal records
- The loss of your driver’s licence
- Points on your record
- Jail time
What should I do if I am involved in a hit and run accident with no witnesses?
Naturally, you may feel confused about what you should do if you have experienced a hit and run accident but there are no witnesses to prove your story. If you were the cause of the accident, you should leave your contact details and go to file a police report. This would mean that the accident is not considered a hit and run. If you were on the other end of the accident then you should make sure to collect as much evidence as possible. That way you can prove that you were hurt and that the person responsible fled the scene.
What should I do if I have been involved in a hit and run accident?
One of most important things that you should do is treat your hit and run accident like any other RTA or crash on the road. Whilst you may not be able to prove who was responsible for the accident, you can show that you were not at fault. This is why you should contact an experienced lawyer to help you with your case. It is going to be difficult to get compensation if you go about it on your own, especially if the other driver’s identity remains a mystery. But a solicitor can help you:
Here is what you should do if you have recently been involved in a hit and run accident:
1. Try and identify the other driver involved in the accident
Unfortunately, not every hit and run case can end up with the other driver being identified. That’s why you need to write down as much distinguishing information as possible. This will help the police to identify the culprit responsible for your accident. Try and write down the information whilst you still remember it. You may also want to consider:
- Distinguishing features about the other vehicle (i.e. the colour, the model, the licence plate or any dents or indents that could be recognisable.)
- Any distinguishable features of the driver (i.e. what they were wearing, their physical appearance)
You should also ask witnesses about whether or not they saw anything that may have stuck out in their minds. You should also consider any nearby CCTV devices or recordings for clues. Who knows, you may be lucky and see a clear image of their driving plate. Remember, you are doing this to help with the police’s investigation, as well as gather evidence for your own case.
2. Take down evidence of your own damages
Although you should prioritize your safety above all things, if you can collect evidence from the scene of the crime then this will really help your case when or if it is taken to court. You should take pictures of your injuries and damages to prove that you were hurt. Additional evidence may include:
- Videos of the incident or of the other driver (including CCTV and dash-cams)
- Witness statements and testimonies
- Medical reports
- Police reports
- Receipts and evidence of expenses
- Damaged equipment
- Diary Entries
Remember that you can collect evidence both during and after the accident has passed. For instance, you may not be able to get a medical report of your injuries until after you have been to hospital or have gone to A&E. You should always get a check-up just to make sure that you are okay. That way you can avoid your injuries getting any worse. You will also want to consider getting evidence that your property has been damaged, i.e. any valuables that were in the car at the time.
3. Visit the hospital
As we stated before, the most important thing that you need to prioritize over anything else is your own health. If you have been severely hurt due to a hit and run, it’s very likely that you may end up with very severe injuries. Getting medical help can add to the evidence that you have already accumulated for your claim. Make sure to call an ambulance for help or get someone to do it for you.
4. Contact other emergency services
Naturally, if you have been hurt then you should immediately call for an ambulance. But you should also contact the police as well. A hit and run accident is a crime and you will need to have it reported as quickly as possible. You may also want to consider claiming for criminal injuries. Having the police inspect the area can help collect evidence and can also give you the opportunity to get a police report. Police reports are unbiased and can prove that you were not at fault for your own injuries. Make sure to comply with the police’s investigation to ensure that a conclusion can be reached as quickly as possible.
Your timeline of events should look something like this:
Why should I get a solicitor to help me with me with my hit and run accident claim?
Honestly, when it comes to hit and run accident claims, they can be extremely stressful. Not only do you have had to endure a traumatic injury, but you most likely don’t even know who the culprit is! This can only get worse if you have had property and equipment damaged in the process. Basically, you are going to be extremely stressed and also in the process of recovering. The last thing you need is a court case also looming over your head. With the current pandemic and backlogs within the UK court system, you need all the help you can get. This is why it is so useful to have a solicitor on your side.
Your RTA solicitor can work on your behalf to ensure that you have the strongest case possible. Without a potential party to name as liable for your injuries, your clam could get complicated. A lawyer can show your evidence in its best light. This way you can get the highest amount of compensation possible.
What can I claim for exactly?
One of the most important things you need to understand about any sort of compensation claim are the damages that you are claiming for. Most people assume that they can only claim for physical injuries and that these will be paid out of the other party’s vehicle insurance policy. However, you can claim for other types of damages. These include:
- Emotional damages
- Damages to equipment
- Financial damages
- Loss of opportunity (i.e. promotions and wage increases)
- Medical damages
Discuss these carefully with your lawyer. Your evidence should back up each of these damage claims. For instance, the hit and run accident may have damaged your wall, which fell over and hurt you. Because you could not go to work, you could not collect your wage and you may have even lost out on a promotion. All of these damages add up. Your solicitor can make sure to frame them so you get the biggest pay-out possible for your damages.
How much could I claim for hit and run accident compensation?
Now, whenever we are asked this type of question, the answer tends to be something like “how long is a piece of string?” Honestly, the amount you could receive in compensation depend on the extent of your injuries and damages. For instance, someone who has lost a limb has suffered life-changing injury, therefore they may end up getting a seven figured pay-out. However, someone who has only broken their arm may get less.
Your solicitor can help estimate your losses and come up with a potential figure you could claim for. Make sure to bring as much evidence as you can to your solicitor. This could influence the total compensation amount you could get.
How long will it take to get my compensation?
Again, this depends on the complexity of your case. As you are the victim of a hit and run accident, there is no other party to get compensation from. This means it will take more time to clarify your damages and how much you could be owed. Be patient with your solicitor and make sure to keep track of your time line. Your lawyer would be more than happy to let you know what stage it is at and what needs to happen next to move forward with your claim
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your RTA claim!
Whether you have suffered from a hit and run accident or perhaps just a normal car accident, Gowing Law Solicitors are here to help you. We understand what position you are in and want to help you get the compensation that you deserve. We can offer you free advice and remote consultations to get you started. If you are happy with this, and want to work with our solicitors on your case, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means there will be no hidden fees and you will always come out on top.
Contact us today by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing email@example.com or by using our direct messenger on our contact page. Feel free to check your claim with us! One of our team members will then be in contact to help you. They would be more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
Learn more about road traffic accident claims
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