What to Do if You’re Involved in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in Ohio

hit and run car accident

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be an incredibly stressful and traumatic experience. You are likely dealing with injuries and property damage, and the driver responsible fled the scene without providing their insurance contact information.

You may feel shocked, upset, scared, and angry, but you have legal rights under the law. Section 4549.02 of Ohio Revised Statutes requires drivers to stop and provide their insurance information after an accident resulting in injuries and/or property damage. Failure to do so can lead to criminal and civil penalties. But how do you get your just due when the driver is nowhere to be found?

Today, our personal injury attorneys will guide you through the recommended steps after a hit-and-run collision.

Seek Medical Care If Needed and Call 911

Your health should be your number one concern after any car accident. Even if you don’t think you suffered significant injuries in the hit-and-run collision, the adrenaline rush after the crash can mask signs of harm. Some injuries like internal bleeding or head trauma often delay the onset of symptoms.

Call the police or 911 to request emergency medical services right away if anyone involved in the hit-and-run needs immediate treatment for injuries. The medics can assess all passengers and transport those needing further care.

In addition to obtaining emergency care, timely medical examinations also document evidence when bringing an injury claim later. Descriptions and images in medical records, along with doctor prognoses, strengthen your case.

Details That Could Help Identify the Hit-and-Run Driver

Any descriptions of the hit-and-run person or car can significantly help authorities find the driver.

Note specifics like:

  • Gender, skin color, approximate age, and height.
  • Hair color and style (short, long, curly, ponytail, etc.).
  • Facial hair, glasses, or other distinguishable features.
  • Clothing colors and styles.
  • License plate state and partial number.
  • Unique bumper stickers, window decals, or other car accessories.

Document the Hit-and-Run Accident Scene and Your Injuries

While waiting for the authorities after a hit and run, you should document critical evidence while it’s still fresh when possible. Take clear photos of property damage, skid marks on the pavement, car parts left behind, and anything else relevant.

Write down specifics like weather and lighting conditions, street location, and collision details you might forget later. Preserve the video footage if you have a dashboard camera or other recording.

Also, photograph any cuts, bruises, swelling, or other injury signs you notice after the adrenaline wears off. Pictures show proof of harm later during claims. But don’t wait too long, as marks can fade.

Consulting a Personal Injury Attorney About Your Case

Consult an experienced personal injury attorney after a hit-and-run vehicle accident with injuries or substantial damage to your vehicle.

An attorney understands the state’s insurance laws and claims processes and knows how to build a solid personal injury case if the at-fault driver resists compensation or authorities fail to locate them. Pertaining legal counsel provides immense value and peace of mind during stressful times.

Contact Your Insurance Provider About Coverage

You need to alert your car insurance provider as soon as possible about the hit-and-run accident immediately. Typical coverages like collision, uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, and possibly Medpay coverage apply following hit-and-run collisions.

However, policies have conditions about claim eligibility and prompt notification guidelines. Call your insurance agent or claims center number on your insurance card within two days after an accident.

Filing a Hit and Run Accident Claim with Your Insurer

When speaking with an auto insurance adjuster, provide initial details like date, location, police report number, and specifics known. The representative will outline the required steps based on your plan’s terms and limits.

Insurance companies typically need:

  • Completed claim form itemizing damage or injury.
  • Police report proving hit and run.
  • Photos of vehicle damage and injuries.
  • Medical records related to accidents.
  • Ongoing injury treatment prognosis.
  • Records like car repair invoices or doctor bills.

Complying with your insurer’s requests promptly smoothes the claims process. Keep communicating with your adjuster, but avoid accepting the insurer’s initial settlement offer.

Building a Case Without the Hit-and-Run Driver

Police sometimes never locate hit-and-run perpetrators, leaving car accident victims wondering what to do next. How do you build a bodily injury liability or property damage claim without the at-fault party?

Work with a skilled auto accident lawyer to construct a convincing injury claim using documentation like:

  • Detailed accident reports and eyewitness statements.
  • Photographs proving injuries and vehicle damage.
  • Medical reports supporting the cause of diagnosed conditions.
  • Specialist and expert analyses of records and reports.
  • Documentation of lost wages and claim expenses.

Although complicated without defendants present, experienced attorneys piece together compelling evidence for insurance claims or third-party lawsuits. Don’t assume you cannot win damages because the hit-and-run driver remains unidentified. Thorough documentation and legal skills may still lead to case success.

Get Experienced Legal Help After a Hit and Run Collision

Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident means dealing with injuries, vehicle damage, insurance coverage claims, and searching for the at-fault driver, leaving many victims feeling frustrated and alone.

However, the attorneys at The Jones Firm in Ohio understand the complex claims processes following hit-and-run collisions. We offer compassionate counsel and dedicated representation to clients harmed in all auto accidents.

With years of experience negotiating insurance settlements, we help cover the financial, physical, and emotional impacts through skilled legal guidance every step of the way.

If you suffered harm in a hit-and-run, contact our Columbus, OH, office for a consultation. Let us help you move forward while aggressively seeking fair damages against drivers who flee crash scenes.

Author Bio

Geoff Jones is the CEO and Managing Partner of The Jones Firm, a personal injury law firm in Columbus, Ohio. With years of experience in personal injury law, he has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, wrongful death, and other cases.

Geoff received his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a member of the Columbus Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2022-2023.

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