After a car accident, it is crucial to check on the other party, assess the damage, and exchange contact and insurance information. Depending on the severity of the crash, you might also need to call for medical help, file a police report, or get a tow truck to come and pick up a disabled vehicle.
However, if the other driver flees an accident scene, it can be tough to do many of these things. That does not mean you are powerless, though. There are steps you can take after a hit-and-run accident to protect yourself and possibly identify the other party.
What to do at the scene
If the other driver flees an accident scene, record as much as you can about the incident as soon as possible. Documentation might include making a voice memo or taking photos on your phone, talking to witnesses, and securing any debris that may have come from the other vehicle.
If the accident is serious, call the police and seek medical attention, even if you are unsure you need help. These measures create records of what happened and your injuries, which can be crucial if you choose to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
What to do after you leave the scene
Even if you could not take pictures or record details of the crash at the scene, there are still ways to unravel what happened and who the other party may be.
Working with police, an attorney and other parties, you may be able to reconstruct the accident or collect surveillance videos from people or businesses in the area. To identify the other party, you may be able to use witness statements describing the type of car or traits of the driver. You may also be able to track down the other vehicle based on physical evidence left on the scene.
Leaving an accident scene of a crash resulting in property damage, injuries, or fatalities is a crime in Florida. Hit-and-run drivers can face fines, revoked licenses, criminal charges and a prison sentence. They can also face civil penalties if injured parties choose to file a claim seeking compensation for damages.