Responsible drivers in California would never leave the scene of an accident. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what unscrupulous people do, leaving you with costs for medical treatment and vehicle repair. If you’re involved in a hit and run it’s important that you take the right steps, both for your safety and to improve the chance that the other driver is apprehended. State Farm offers the following advice in this case.
Don’t leave the scene
It’s natural that you’d want to go after the person who caused the accident. However, doing so can actually land you in legal trouble. Leaving the scene of an accident, for any reason, is considered unlawful. As a result, you may also be charged by law enforcement. Pursuing the other driver also puts you and others at risk. Lastly, you may miss out on important information if you leave the scene.
Talk to witnesses
If there are any bystanders on the scene, be sure to speak with them. They may have been privy to another angle that provided a better look at the fleeing vehicle. Additionally, they may be able to provide testimony in the event you file an accident claim. Bystander testimony is considered quite valuable, as it’s an objective accounting of what happened.
Even if you were unable to get the license plate number, other information can be helpful to the police. Your location and the direction in which the other vehicle was traveling is often useful, as is the make, model, and color of the vehicle. Even if you only have a portion of the license plate it could be helpful along with the other information you provide. You should also take pictures of your damaged vehicle, so they can be compared to the fleeing car if the driver is caught.