No one expects to be in a hit-and-run auto accident. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Michigan, here are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Document the other driver’s license plate
Take a photo or write down the other driver’s license plate. If possible, write down the vehicle’s make, model, and color, along with a description of the at-fault driver. If you’re not able to record this information, don’t beat yourself up. Most people are shaken up after a car crash and hit-and-run drivers don’t tend to stick around long. Do the best you can.
Call the police
Call the police to document the hit-and-run accident. Talk to the officer. Tell the officer clearly and truthfully what happened. Provide any information you recorded regarding the at-fault driver and their vehicle. The police will try to locate the driver.
Get witness information
Talk with the Michigan hit-and-run crash witnesses. Get their names and contact information. Police try to get this information, but witnesses sometimes leave before they can do so. Make sure you have a way to contact key witnesses.
Take photos of (1) any crash vehicles, (2) the scene, and (3) your injuries. Document as much of the crash as possible.
Check the scene for possible sources of video evidence
Find a safe spot to pull over, park, and look around. Check to see if any of the nearby businesses have surveillance video. For example, many gas stations have exterior cameras that record on a loop. Often, the footage will be preserved for a certain number of days, and then the video will begin to record over itself or be deleted, often as quickly as 7-10 days. Talk to the nearby business owners. Ask them if they have security video. If they have a video, get a copy and provide a copy to the police and your insurance.
Notify your insurance of the crash
Most insurance policies have special requirements for Michigan hit-and-run auto accidents. For example, some require that the crash victim “promptly notify the police if a hit-and-run driver is involved.” Others require that the crash victim “notify the police within 24 hours and the insurance company within 30 days, or as soon as reasonably possible.”
An insurance policy is a contract. To get insurance benefits, you must follow the contract requirements. If you don’t, you are not eligible for benefits. If you were involved in a hit-and-run crash, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney review your insurance policy as soon as possible to look for any contract requirements you must satisfy, to be sure you meet them.
Get a copy of the police report and provide a copy to your insurance
Get a copy of the Michigan accident police report. Provide a copy to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Hire an experienced lawyer
Insurance companies act quickly to limit your claim. This often includes taking recorded statements. You need to know their tactics to protect yourself and your family. An experienced Michigan auto wreck lawyer can help you avoid pitfalls and maximize the value of your case.
If you want to know more about what to do after a hit-and-run car accident, call or contact Conybeare Law Office now.
Talking with an experienced injury attorney in Michigan can help you better understand your case’s value and your rights.
The knowledgeable attorneys at Conybeare Law Office will help you value your case and fight to get you the money you deserve.
Talk to our office today to learn more about the legal services offered to our Michigan car accident clients. Conybeare Law Office has offices in Saint Joseph and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and serves all of southwest Michigan and beyond. Call us at (800) 983-0561 or contact us for a free consultation. We look forward to talking with you. Remember, if it’s not fair, call the bear.