Minnesota law states that motorists involved in a traffic accident have a duty to stop at the scene of the accident as soon as safely and reasonably possible. If one party drives away from the scene, this is known as a hit and run, and not only is it a crime, it can complicate the process of collecting compensation for any damages or injuries that you’ve sustained. In today’s blog, we take a look at four steps you’ll want to take right away if you are involved in a hit and run accident.
Do These Things Right Away After A Hit And Run Accident
If someone struck you or your vehicle and then fled the scene, there are some things you’ll want to do as soon as possible to help yourself and your compensation claim. We detail those four actions below.
1. Call 911 – The first thing you’ll want to do if you notice that the other driver is not stopping is to call 911. Not only will 911 be able to dispatch medical aid for you and any of your passengers, but fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime, and they’ll want to dispatch officers to hopefully stop the driver before they get out of the immediate area. When talking with 911, give as much detail about the other driver’s vehicle and the direction they fled in as possible. Obviously getting medical aid to a seriously injured party takes precedence, but if injuries aren’t life threatening, the 5-10 minutes after the accident are your best chance of having officers stop the other driver, so relay as much information as possible, and try to catch a glimpse of their license plate if you can.
2. Document Your Evidence – Even though the other driver fled the scene, it’s likely that you’ll be filing a claim with your insurance company because Minnesota is a No-Fault state. Make sure you give the insurance company and the police as much evidence as possible when completing accident reports. Take pictures of the scene, get the contact information of witnesses, note the time, date and location of the accident, seek a medical evaluation for any injuries and document the extent of the damage to yourself, your passengers and your vehicle. You can never have too much evidence when putting together an insurance claim after an auto accident.
3. Contact A Lawyer – Once everything is documented, you’ll want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. They can help put together your injury claim and help navigate your situation with the insurance company. Some people wait to contact a lawyer until they’ve informed their insurance company about the accident, but talking to a lawyer first can help you avoid saying things that could end up hurting your case. They’ll also be able to give you some guidance about filing a claim or seeking more damages based on the circumstances of your case.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company – The final thing you’ll want to do after being involved in a hit and run accident is to contact your insurance company. Even though the other driver may have been at fault, as we mentioned above, Minnesota is a No-Fault state, meaning your insurance company will pay for up to $20,000 in medical expenses and $20,000 in wage loss benefits. This will help to offset some of your expenses, and if the driver is eventually found, you’ll be able to bring a personal injury driver and their insurance company. Even if the other driver turns out to be uninsured, you can seek uninsured motorist benefits through your own insurance company, which again speaks to the importance of trying to get as much identifying information about the other driver and their vehicle as possible.
If you need help after a hit and run, or you’re just wondering if you have a valid personal injury claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm. We’d be happy to help get you the compensation you deserve. For more information, give our office a call today at (952) 230-2700.