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What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Hit and Run Accident?

Hit and Run Car Accident

Getting hit by a hit-and-run driver is scary and confusing. When the at-fault motorist flees the scene, you’re left trying to process what happened. Normal reactions like shock and adrenaline make it hard to think clearly.

But what you do right after a Tennessee hit-and-run crash matters. Your actions impact holding the perpetrator accountable and getting compensated later. Having an emergency response plan prepares you to properly gather evidence, follow state laws, and avoid mistakes.

As Tennessee auto accident attorneys handling hit-and-run cases, we guide victims through step-by-step initial response protocols. Here’s exactly what to do after a hit-and-run.

Call Tennessee Police Promptly After Incidents

Legally speaking, fleeing the scene of an accident where property damage or bodily injury occurs breaks Tennessee Code §55-10-101-103, a classification ranging from a misdemeanor up to a Class E felony.

Inform law enforcement as soon as safely possible for several reasons:

  • It creates needed documentation of the date, time, location, and involved vehicles
  • Police may capture video evidence from traffic cameras or nearby businesses
  • An official report supports insurance claims and lawsuits later

Under pressure, hit-and-run perpetrators also commit further traffic violations that police spot more easily with prompt statements from victims like you.

Seek Medical Evaluation After Tennessee Hit and Runs

While adrenaline minimizes the pain initially, you need a complete medical examination after any crash. Soft tissue injuries, whiplash, head trauma, or internal bleeding dangers require assessment by licensed Tennessee doctors. Seek emergency room care or visit an urgent clinic promptly.

Beyond physical recovery, consult our personal injury law firm to understand the legal next steps so injuries and vehicle damages get covered financially. We quickly investigate to preserve evidence like police reports. Having documents ready avoids delays in getting insurance approvals later if disputes come up over covering your claim.

Getting a full clinical prognosis also plays an important role in negotiating injury claim settlements later on, which we will discuss more below working on your behalf.

Document Damage Details From the Crash

When drivers flee after an accident, they do not provide their insurance information.

But victims on the scene can still capture invaluable proof to build civil and criminal cases later:

  • Write Down Specific Observations – Record precise vehicle color, body type, most markings, and any bumper stickers glimpsed. Was the car made identifiable by badges? What noticeable harm, like dents or paint scratches, did the collision cause? Where is damage concentrated in your automobile?
  • Photograph Everything Possible – Use your smartphone to take images of property destruction from multiple angles, along with visible injuries to yourself or any passengers. Wider landscape pictures contextualize accident environments like road terrain weather/visibility that day, along with sight lines and potential obstructions.

Collect and organize documentation methodically despite emerging stress. These corroborating incident facts support demand letters our attorneys dispatch to offenders’ insurance providers once identities get established.

Review Your Tennessee Auto Insurance Policy

Another immediate priority that personal injury lawyers urge is contacting your auto insurer about beginning a claim under either:

  • Collision Coverage – This option pays for vehicle repairs or total losses from accidents, regardless of fault determination. But it carries deductibles averaging $500-$1000 in Tennessee for each claim made.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Required minimums cover bodily harm and vehicle destruction costs when hit by uninsured or untraceable motorists (like hit-and-run perpetrators), often with lower/no deductibles.

Evaluate terms in your Tennessee policy like payout limits, exclusions, and timeliness requirements that impact the amount of compensation available. For instance, many require prompt claim filing within 30 days of any losses. Identify sections addressing hit and runs specifically as unique scenarios. Become familiar with provisions that protect or limit reimbursements.

Our Tennessee personal injury law professionals negotiate daily with local insurers. We examine policies closely on clients’ behalf to maximize rightful entitlements after losses they did not cause while being made financially whole again.

Consider Hiring a Hit and Run Attorney

Dealing with injuries, car repairs, and insurance after a hit-and-run accident can be very difficult. Hiring a good lawyer to handle the legal and insurance issues allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries.

Beyond logistical assistance, Tennessee hit-and-run attorneys offer further value through:

Case Assessment

We can evaluate your case to determine its strengths and weaknesses. We can advise you on whether it is worth pursuing legal action and what kind of compensation you might expect.

Investigative Tactics

We have the resources and ability to conduct a thorough investigation into your accident. This can include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining expert opinions. A strong investigation can greatly strengthen your case.

Claim Negotiation Experience

Drawing from deep expertise handling Tennessee hit-and-run cases and their insurance aftermath over decades, we formulate strategic approaches custom-fit to variables in your incident that optimize compensation value.

We anticipate adjuster counter-offers, navigate complex policy terms, and relentlessly negotiate full coverage of all vehicle repairs, medical expenses from care, and lost wages from missed work due to this preventable collision you endured.

Understanding Damages

We have a deep understanding of the types of damages you may be entitled to, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We can ensure you pursue the full compensation you deserve.

Peace of Mind

Dealing with a personal injury can be stressful and overwhelming. Having us handle the legal aspects allows you to focus on your recovery and well-being.

Act Now to Protect Rights After Tennessee Hit and Runs

As outlined above, prompt response protocols unique to hit-and-run auto accidents set victims up to successfully hold guilty parties accountable later. Allow us to level the legal playing field by initiating police documentation, securing medical opinions, gathering eyewitness evidence, and reviewing insurance provisions while you focus on healing.

Call Pickford Law for a free consultation with an experienced Tennessee hit-and-run attorney so we can launch an immediate investigation and build constructive action plans around the inexcusable incident you just endured. The sooner we get involved, the sooner justice gets served.

We provide ethically sound legal services to those injured. You deserve attentive counsel and vigorous representation as we overcome this challenge completely together.

Author Bio

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford is a highly skilled attorney and the founder of Pickford Law. Her legal practice is committed to representing clients on various legal matters, including social security disability, veterans’ disability, estate planning, and personal injury. With over ten years of experience in law and a license to practice in Tennessee and Arkansas, Shalondra is committed to providing personalized and effective legal representation to each client.

Shalondra received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is a member of the Tennessee and Arkansas State Bar Associations. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the exclusive Rising Stars award from Super Lawyers in 2017 and again in 2022.

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