Hit-and-run accidents seem to be on the rise. In 2021 alone, there were over 100 reported hit-and-runs in Chicago each day. That’s over 37,000 hit-and-runs in one year, and the numbers don’t seem to be going down. Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists are all victims of hit-and-run collisions. While there’s no way to fully prepare oneself for a car accident, it can be helpful to have an idea of what steps to take in case it happens to you.

hit and run accident

It may seem impossible to stay calm after an accident, especially a hit-and-run. Adrenaline is pumping, tensions are high, and you may even be in shock. However, the best thing you can do is to take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Check yourself and any others involved for injuries, then immediately call 911. Things may get hectic, so try to stay focused on the next steps.

Many are tempted to try to follow and confront the vehicle that caused the accident. That’s a mistake for many reasons, though; the driver may be aggressive or intoxicated, which will only escalate the situation. Another reason to stay is to wait for the police or ambulance at the scene of the accident to file a report. Never leave the scene of an accident, even if you aren’t at fault. 

Immediately write down any details that you remember, including the make and model of the vehicle that hit you, time and location of the incident, and any other facts that stand out to you. That can include little things like bumper stickers or damage to the vehicle.  If you don’t have a pen and paper handy or are too worked up to try to write, you can take notes on your phone or even record a voice note to reference later. You may think you’ll remember everything later, but that’s most likely not the case. Even small details might come back later to help you, so try not to leave anything out. You’ll be glad to have documentation so you can give all the facts to the police officer when you file your report.

If possible, get contact information from any witnesses to the hit-and-run including names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Witnesses may have seen something you didn’t and can provide your attorney another account of what happened during the hit-and-run. 

Along with notifying the police, you should also inform your insurance company of any accidents you’re involved in, especially when it’s a hit-and-run. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in Chicago with a minimum bodily injury liability limit of $25,000. Your insurance will help ease some of the stress as you navigate the rest of the process.

You might be lucky enough to walk away from a hit-and-run, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see a doctor. Make an appointment as soon as possible to check for injuries that may not be apparent immediately. Be sure to keep a record of your visits and any costs involved.

The stress of a hit-and-run shouldn’t fall on your shoulders alone. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the aftermath of personal injury or a collision while advocating for your rights. Don’t hesitate to contact the Saperstein Law Group, P.C. for a free consultation. We have over 30 years of experience with hit-and-run victims in the Chicagoland area. You deserve personalized representation, and that’s exactly what we provide as a small law firm. You don’t have to go it alone – instead, leave the hard work to the experts as you focus on getting well.