Car accidents can be stressful, painful, time consuming, and expensive when you are able to work with the other driver, but when they drive away from the scene before you get a chance to exchange information, accidents can be even more so. A hit and run accident occurs either when a driver hits your vehicle and then drives off, or when your vehicle is parked and unattended, and is hit by another car whose driver fails to leave any contact information.

There are many reasons why a driver might flee the scene of an accident. The most common of these are improper insurance or no license.

There are several things that you can to do simplify the process of handling a car accident when the other driver decides not to work with you, and there are several things you should avoid doing.

Steps to Take Following a Hit and Run

• If you can, write down the license plate number of the other vehicle.
• Whether or not you get the license plate number, write down the make, model, year, color, any special markings or stickers on the vehicle, and a description of the driver if you notice them.
• Take photos of the other vehicle if you can. Always take photos of your vehicle, including up close shots of the damage and images of the entire vehicle and the surrounding scene.
• Especially if your vehicle was hit when you weren’t near it, keep track of the time, date, location, and damage. This can be extremely important when you’re trying to show that your vehicle was actually damaged in a hit and run, you’re not trying to scam your insurance company.
• Call the police and report what you can about the driver and the vehicle, including descriptions, which direction the vehicle went, and the time, location, and cause of the accident.
• Complete a police report or an accident report.
• If there were witnesses, get their information if possible. Collect as much information as you can from witnesses, including names, contact information, and descriptions of what happened.
• Call your insurance company. Having uninsured motorist coverage can be helpful in this case, especially if you can’t track down the other driver or weren’t able to get a complete license plate number.

Things Not to Do Following a Hit and Run

• Do not flee the scene of the accident, even to chase the other driver. Confrontations tend to make situations worse, not better.
• Avoid leaving your vehicle in the way of traffic. If you can move it, do so after you photograph the scene.