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What should you do if you witness a hit-and-run accident?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Auto Accidents

You may be out on a seemingly mundane day when you suddenly witness a tragic turn of events – a car deliberately fleeing an accident scene without leaving contact information or rendering reasonable aid to potential victims.

Your emotional instincts may tell you to take matters into your own hands and run after the offender. However, doing so can only escalate things and harm you and the affected party.

Thus, knowing how to address the situation calmly can help you help others.

Witnessing a hit-and-run accident

Depending on the circumstances, the victim may not have been in the area when the offender struck their parked car. Since the at-fault driver escaped liability instead of following the Ohio law requiring them to stop and leave a note in a visible area, you can do your part by supplying crucial information to the victim – what you saw and how they can reach you.

In some cases, the vehicle may have occupants when hit by a fleeing driver. Especially when there are victims severely injured, you can help as a witness by:

  • Calling 911 to report the incident
  • Seeking the authorities for investigation
  • Taking as much information as possible – writing down distinguishing details of the car (model, make and license number) and the driver’s actions, capturing photos and recording videos
  • Requesting ambulance services or immediate medical attention for catastrophic injuries or deaths

When insurance settlement negotiations eventually happen, the victim may contact you to make a statement that can solidify their claim. Just ensure that you remain consistent with what you said right after the collision and now that you have time to process it.

Doing what is right

Witnesses can make or break a case. You can corroborate and substantiate the crash victim’s perspective. Doing so also discredits the accountable party’s version of what happened. It will be strategic to coordinate with the victim’s legal representative to guide you on how to do the right thing. After all, if you are in the position of the affected vehicle owner, you would also feel relieved to have witnesses willing to extend support during challenging times.