How to File a Hit and Run Insurance Claim

January 27, 2012

Accidents are unavoidable, but never is the feeling worse than when you have to file a hit and run insurance claim because someone smashed into your vehicle in a parking lot while you were out buying groceries. Worse is the feeling of actually witnessing the crime in action. Surprisingly, a large number of Americans do not carry auto insurance and dealing with an accident like this can be frustrating. So what do you do when you are the victim of this crime?

Step One: Gather as Much Information as Possible

If you were lucky enough to witness the accident, do whatever you can to get the license plate of the vehicle that struck yours. This is extremely important and may be the only way for the police to track the offender down. If that isn’t possible, try to locate a witness or two in the area that may have witnessed the accident. Make sure you get the witnesses names and contact information for the police and insurance company.

Step Two: Call the Police

Armed with whatever information you have on hand, you should now call the police and file a hit and run accident report. This is a vital step and should be done immediately. The quicker you call the police, the quicker they can attempt to catch the person that committed the crime.

Step Three: Call Your Insurance Company

Next you can call your insurance provider. This doesn’t need to be done immediately and you can certainly take time to get home or to work or wherever you need to be. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, you may be out of luck and there will be no need to file a claim. Hopefully in this case the police can track down the offender so you have some recourse.

Step Four: File Your Claim

Now you can file your claim with your company, or hopefully, with the offenders insurance company. Unfortunately, if you are the victim of a hit and run there will be a good chance the person that struck your vehicle has no insurance. If not, you can file a claim through your provider. You will need to provide information about the accident, a police report, any information about the vehicle that drove away, witnesses names and testimony. With any luck you will be able to file a claim and recoup the cost of the repair.

Step Five: Go to Small Claims Court

If the offender is identified, but has no insurance and your insurance will not cover the accident, you have another option--small claims court. You can sue the person that struck your vehicle. In such cases you will need to make sure you have all of the information about the accident, a police report, witness affidavit, or better yet live testimony and anything else you can think of. With any luck you can win your case and recoup the cost of the repair.

Those drivers without full coverage, no license plate number, and no witnesses are just going to be out of luck. In these cases there is extremely little you can do.