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What to do after a hit and run

When one party in an accident flees, it's important to stay to talk to witnesses, insurance representatives, and the police.

Car bumper after collision

As with any collision, you must carefully document hit and run accidents for your insurance company and the police. However, that can be a little tricky since one driver has taken off! 

Here are some dos and don'ts for handling the situation.

DO get as much information about the driver, car and accident as possible, including:

  • License plate number
  • The other vehicle's make, model and color
  • Description of damage to the other vehicle
  • Which direction the other vehicle was headed
  • Photos of the damage to your vehicle
  • Location, time and cause of the accident

DON'T follow the fleeing driver. Leaving the scene of the accident could put you in a compromising position: You'll miss getting eyewitness accounts — and police could question who's really at fault.

DO ask witnesses if they can supply additional information about the accident. If they give you or the police a statement, be sure to get their names and contact information. Witness information can be especially helpful if the hit and run occurred when you were not with your vehicle. Get more information about how to handle parking lot accidents.

DON'T wait to call the police or your insurance company to file a police report or an accident claim. The official accident report will help police look for the missing driver and will be useful when you file your accident claim.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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