Another driver cuts you off, running into the front corner of your car. The damage may not be bad, but you were definitely hit. As you start to pull over, the other driver accelerates and speeds away. Should you give chase?

While many people react instinctively by chasing after the hit-and-run driver, experts warn that this is actually very dangerous. You may end up breaking traffic laws, driving recklessly, and causing a secondary crash -- for which you are then responsible. The other driver may also see you giving chase and retaliate in some way, leading to road rage. It's understandable to be frustrated and angry when someone wrongs you like this, but don't risk making the whole situation worse.

What Should You Do?

So, if you can't give chase, what should you do? The best thing you can do is to get complete records of what happened. Take pictures of your car and accident scene. Write down an account of what happened while the details are fresh. Note exactly where it happened, what cross streets are nearby, and which way you were driving. If possible, talk to witnesses to see if anyone saw the accident -- or, better yet, got it on video. Get the accounts from these witnesses and file a police report. Of course, you want to list details about the car that hit you, such as the make, model, color, and license plate number.

Doing this helps you on many fronts. Your insurance company can see the photos and, especially when paint from the other car is clearly visible, they'll know you're being honest. The police can start an investigation. They can track down the driver safely and professionally. There's no risk of a secondary accident. The key is to remain calm and work to protect your rights without taking unnecessary risks and putting others in danger.

Hit and Run Claims

As the case progresses, and especially once the other driver is caught, you need to know your rights to seek compensation for damages. This could go beyond the damage to the car, including things like medical bills and lost wages if you were hurt.