YOU ASK:

How do you handle the insurance after a 'hit and run' accident when you took down the license plate number?

WE ANSWER:

The important thing to do is to report the incident to the policy. You need to do this to get the policy report. The person guilty of the hit and run will be made liable for this criminal offense.

The next step would be to go to your insurance company to report the incident. You need to do this quickly as a sign of good faith, in case you are not able to go after the erring driver. Your taking down the license plate number will help make things easier for the police's investigation.

Be sure to also:

  • Take pictures of the damage, the position of your car, any distinguishing signs that can indicate what happened during the accident such as the stop lights, the road signs and so on. Err on the side of taking too many pictures. This will be better than having too few pictures for the police to work with.
  • Take statements of the witnesses - the passengers who were with you, as well as other people who were in the vicinity when the hit and run incident happened.

Your insurance company will only pay if you have the appropriate cover. If you only carry liability insurance, your insurance company will not pay for anything. If you have collision cover, you can claim from your insurance company to pay for the damages.

However, please note that this will mean that your premiums will increase, even though the accident was not your fault. You will also have to pay the deductibles. So the best option will really be to make the hit and run driver's insurance company pay for the damages.

You can also check if you can find the driver who committed the hit and run. The police will also be working on the case to help you find the driver. If that driver is found, his insurance company can be made to pay for the damages.

If you are able to find the driver, you need to give details to the district attorney such as the fact that you have sustained damages due to the hit and run and a quotation of how much the repairs and medical expenses will cost. You also have the option to file a suit against the driver in a small claims court.

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