Getting into any type of car accident can be scary. But it's even worse when the other driver flees the scene. The hit-and-run driver's goal is to try to get away. But if you act swiftly and smartly, there's a good chance you can have them held responsible.
Here are the steps that drivers in Massachusetts should follow if they find themselves in this situation.
1. Immediately Call 911
Call 911 and immediately tell the dispatcher you were just involved in a hit-and-run accident. It’s important to share this information quickly, so the dispatcher can notify police officers in the area before the driver gets too far away. Tell the dispatcher everything you saw about how the other driver and car looked, including the license plate number if you got it. When the police arrive, be ready to give a statement with the same information. Also, share how the accident happened.
2. Talk To Witnesses
Other drivers might stop to see if you're okay. Don't just tell them you're fine. Ask them if they saw the accident, got the fleeing driver’s license plate number, or might have the accident recorded on their dash cam. If they have information and aren’t able to wait for the police to get on scene, take down their contact information. That way police, your insurance company, or your attorney can use them as a witness later.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Call your car insurance company, just as you would after any other accident. If the police were able to identify the other driver, your insurance company can then get their insurance information from the police. (Assuming, of course, the offending driver is not uninsured.)
If the police can't identify the other driver or the other driver didn't have auto insurance, you would need to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. If you bought this coverage, your insurance company will pay what the other driver's liability policy would have likely paid, up to the limits that you purchased.
If you don't have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your collision coverage will usually help with damage to your car, and your personal injury protection will usually cover some of your medical expenses. You'd have to pay for anything beyond that, unless you're able to successfully sue the other driver and collect the judgment.