What if I Witnessed a Hit and Run Accident?
Witnessing a car accident is a jarring experience. But what happens if you not only see a crash, but watch the driver who caused it leave the scene? As the witness of a hit and run accident, what are your rights and responsibilities? While you are not expected or required to chase down the driver who fled, there are some steps you can take to protect the scene and individuals who have been hurt.
Assist Injured Victims
If anyone at the scene needs medical attention, call an ambulance. Call 911 if the injured individuals are unable to do so. Never attempt to move someone who appears hurt. By doing so, you risk causing further damage. Stay with injured persons until help arrives. When the police arrive, tell them exactly what you witnessed, providing details about the vehicle that left the scene.
Document the Scene
Without putting yourself in harm’s way, document the scene to the best of your ability. If you are able to act quickly, make a mental note of the make, model, color, and plates on the vehicle leaving the scene. If your phone is handy, take a photo or video of the vehicles and the accident scene including damage to vehicles or other property.
Leave a Note
If the hit and run accident involved an unoccupied vehicle, leave a note for the owner. In a few words mention that you witnessed the crash and provide your phone number or email address so they can reach out for more information. You can place it under the windshield wipers to ensure they see it when they return to the car.
Share Accident Information with Auto Insurance Companies
It is likely the hit and run accident victim’s car insurance company will contact you for your account of the crash. If the hit and run driver is located, you may be asked to speak with their insurer as well. Simply relay what you saw in as much factual detail as possible without emotion or conjecture.
It may feel like a big headache to get involved as a witness to a hit and run accident – especially a seemingly minor fender bender. But just imagine if you found your own car damaged with no help in sight. A bit of your time and effort can ensure a smooth claim process and give an accident victim much needed peace of mind after an unfortunate crash.
Contact a Turnersville Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan for Help Recovering Compensation
Every car accident is unfortunate, but even more so when the driver responsible for the crash leaves the scene without doing the right thing. As a witness to a hit and run accident, you have the opportunity to help the crash victim pursue justice and receive the compensation they deserve.
If you saw a hit and run accident or were a victim of one and want to know how to proceed, contact an experienced Turnersville car accident lawyer at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan. We will discuss your situation and provide smart legal guidance to protect you and the accident victims.
Call 856-232-5559 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation in our Blackwood office. We proudly represent clients throughout South Jersey including those in Barrington, Clementon, Deptford, Glassboro, Gloucester Township, Haddon Heights, Lindenwold, Mantua, Pine Hill, Pitman, Runnemede, Turnersville, Washington Township, West Deptford, Williamstown, Winslow, Woodbury, Camden County, and Gloucester County.