According to the Department for Transport's figures the latest number of hit and run accidents was 17,122 which is an 2.7% increase from the 2014 figure of 16,667.
Research commissioned by the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), the organisation who compensates drivers for hit and run accidents, suggests that some drivers didn't stop because they didn’t know they had to. Of course there may be more likely reasons such as the driver had been drinking, did not have a licence or a valid motor insurance policy.
Hit and run and the Road Traffic Act
What to do after a hit and run road accident
Witnesses to a hit and run
Are there any independent witnesses? If so, ask them what they saw, whether they have additional information about the vehicle and the driver. Ask them for contact details so that the police, insurance company or your legal representative can contact them at a later date if required.
Are there any CCTV cameras in the area? Is it possible there may be a recording of the accident or the vehicle that didn't stop? If the CCTV is attached to premises that are open see if you can speak to someone and ask them to keep the recording as it may be needed to trace the driver that did not stop.
Do you have a dash-cam installed? If so remember to remove it along with the memory card if your vehicle is being taken by the police or to a garage.
Claiming after a hit and run accident
If your vehicle is driveable, once you're home contact your insurer and report the accident to them. Find out what assistance your insurer can provide in relation to repairs. It may be that your insurer will not pay out for all the losses you have sustained and you may have to pay your policy excess, so it may be worthwhile contacting a solicitor for some initial legal advice on the various options available to you.
Most importantly the accident should always be reported to the police as soon as possible. If the driver is not traced and your insurance policy does not cover all the losses you have sustained as a result of the hit and run then you may be able to claim against the MIB.
If this is the case the MIB has strict time limits for involving the police. If you are only claiming for property damage (your vehicle, cargo, personal items etc.) then the accident must be reported to the police within five days. If you are claiming for injury you have to report the accident to the police within 14 days.
Catalyst Law are team of legal professionals with over 20 years' experience helping businesses and people with their legal problems.
Follow us on: