According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, more than one in ten collisions in the state is a hit-and-run accident. That is more than 30,000 hit-and-run accidents a year. Most of these accidents occur in Metro Detroit, Kent County, and Genesee County, but they are on the rise statewide.
At Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC, we know that the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. You may be in shock, you might be injured, and your vehicle is likely damaged. If the other driver fails to stop at the scene, the stress and strain you feel can be that much more intense.
Knowing what to do can make all the difference.
We’ve provided these six steps that every driver should follow immediately after a hit-and-run accident. If you or someone you love has been injured by a driver who fled the scene, contact one of our experienced Michigan accident lawyers for help. We’ll be ready to put our experience and resources to work for you.
Step 1: Check for injuries
It is important to always put your safety and the safety of your passengers first. Call 911 if you or anyone else was injured then stay put and wait for help. If you are in an unsafe spot, get to safety as soon as possible. Allow paramedics to examine you and report any pain—even if it seems minor. The initial shock of the crash can mask some symptoms of serious injuries, so make sure to seek medical attention right away.
Step 2: Document everything immediately
Record information about the car and driver that hit you. Any detail may help locate the driver. Use your mobile phone to take photos of everything: the car that hit you—even if it is fleeing; the damage to your car; witnesses and their names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, and insurance companies; the accident scene and surroundings; the weather—anything showing the accident and its aftermath.
Step 3: Contact the police
Call the police—even if no one is injured—because fleeing the scene of an accident is also a crime. Do not leave before they arrive. The police will prepare an accident report and the more complete that is, the better for you and your case—and your insurance company may not compensate you without a report.
Step 4: Gather all available evidence
Anything you document could be vital evidence to support your case, including items you find at the scene—like scattered car parts that may help find the fleeing driver—so if you can, look around the scene for evidence.
Step 5: Notify your insurance company
In Michigan, you must notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. You may lose your right to file for a claim if you do not do this. Hit-and-run accident victims are treated like other car accident victims under Michigan No-Fault law.
Michigan No-Fault laws impose strict time limits to apply for insurance benefits: one year to claim from your own policy; three years to file a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver’s insurance company. Your policy may have additional requirements that you will also have to satisfy.
Notify your insurance company but do not accept a quick settlement offer—it might not be in your best interest. Also, do not sign a release, give statements, or meet with an adjuster unless and until you have consulted with a Michigan hit-and-run accident lawyer who will do what is in your best interest.
Step 6: Contact a hit-and-run accident attorney (why an attorney will be a vital ally)
Hit-and-run accidents in Michigan can involve criminal law and Michigan’s complicated No-Fault laws. An experienced hit-and-run accident attorney can help you:
- Find evidence and identify the fleeing driver.
- Navigate your role in any criminal case against the fleeing driver.
- Asses your personal inures and property damages.
- Understand your rights and negotiate with your insurance company.
- Bring claims under Michigan No-Fault law.
How M&K can help
Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC has been serving Michigan hit-and-run accident victims for more than 60 years. We can help you, too. Our Michigan hit-and-run accident lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and experience to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us to protect your rights and get your claim started. (586) 776.1700.