It’s never fun to have your car damaged by another careless driver. If you were behind the wheel at the time, you probably have a good idea of who the responsible party is. But sometimes, you might walk out to your parked car only to find that someone has damaged it, then taken off without leaving a note. This can be an infuriating situation to find yourself in, and it can be difficult to know how to proceed. Here’s what you should do.
Call the Police
The first step you should take in a hit-and-run incident is to call the police so they can document the incident and create a report. While the police may help in trying to find the guilty party (such as requesting surveillance footage of the parking lot), the primary reason you’ll want to involve the police is to have a copy of that accident report. You’ll need this for a later step, so be sure to request a copy of the report, as well as the name and badge number of the officer at the scene.
Document the Accident
Though you will have an official police report, you should also do some of your own documenting for the accident. Write down the location, the time of day (a general estimate of when you believe the incident occurred is fine), and the weather conditions. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle from several angles; this even includes minor damage, so if your bumper was destroyed, but you also have small scratches on the fender, make sure to document those scratches too. You may also want to take photos of the area where the accident occurred and any debris or tire marks on the ground nearby.
Contact Your Insurer
Finally, reach out to your insurance provider. Though this is the last step in the list, that doesn’t mean it’s not a priority; you should still do this as soon as you can after the accident occurs. The sooner you do it, the more likely you are to remember the details of the incident. The agent you speak to can give you more details about the claims process, but generally speaking, you’ll need to support the police report and any additional documentation you recorded yourself.
For most hit-and-run claims, your insurance will likely treat the incident as they would a collision with an uninsured driver, so your coverage may vary based on how much coverage you have for such accidents. If you are covered for uninsured drivers, your insurance will likely cover the repairs at any auto body shops in Houston.