Before you know it, the other driver has sped off into the night, leaving you to manage the aftermath on your own.
You know what to do in a collision where everyone sticks around, but what do you do when another motorist abandons his or her legal responsibility to remain at the scene?
What is a hit and run?
In essence, if a person involved in a collision doesn’t stop their car, stay at the scene, and provide their information to all involved parties – including name, address, and driver’s license info – they may be charged with failure to remain at the scene of a collision.
A hit and run can also happen in a parking lot, even if you weren’t in your car.
If the other driver doesn’t leave a note, you should still ask for any witnesses and see if parking lot security has any security camera footage. Then, contact your insurance provider to file a claim.
What should you do if you’re the victim of a hit and run?
First and foremost, assess the safety of yourself, and anyone else involved that’s still at the scene. Call 911 if emergency medical services are required. If you can, move your car to the side of the road to prevent a secondary collision.
Next, call the police and note down everything you can remember about the other driver. This includes information like:
The make, model, and colour of the car
Partial or full plate number
The physical description of the driver
Location and time of the collision
Be sure to speak to any witnesses at the scene and gather any details that they remember. The license plate number is the most crucial piece of information you can obtain, so ask bystanders if they managed to see it. Collect your witnesses’ contact information so that you or the police can follow up with them later in the investigation.
You should also take photos of the scene and any damages to your car.
When the police arrive, be sure to file a police report. You should also report the collision to a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC) within 24 hours.