You're pulling through a four-way stop when another car just blows through without slowing down. It clips the front end of your vehicle, spinning you sideways in the street. You look up in shock. The other driver looks at you out of the window for a second, then guns it and takes off. Now what?
Do Not Chase the Other Car
Your first instinct is probably to chase that driver down. You're angry and you want to make sure he or she has to pay for an accident that was clearly not your fault. Don't do it. It's very dangerous, both to you and others, especially when your car may not be safe to drive.
Check for Injuries
Your first move should always be checking for injuries. This includes checking yourself and any passengers. Find out if you need to call 911 for an ambulance. Health always comes first.
Write Down Everything You Can Remember
Write everything down while it's fresh in your mind. You're going to file a police report, and having that information will help them catch the driver. Things to note include the make and model of the other car, that vehicle's color, the license plate number -- even if you only had time to read two or three numbers -- and any physical descriptions of that driver.
Talk to Witnesses
Witnesses can back up your story, which may help with the police and the insurance company. As an added bonus, they may remember more than you do about the crash. You were in shock. A witness may have had a better view or may have a clearer memory of the event. Plus, they offer a different perspective. For instance, perhaps you know very little about cars and couldn't pin down any make and model, but a witness in traffic behind you loves cars and knows exactly what make and model that other vehicle was at a glance.
Hit and run cases can get complex and they can take a long time, but you do have rights. Be sure you know all of your legal options, especially if you were injured in the crash.
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