What is a Hit And Run Accident and How to Handle It

5 min read

Hit and run is a scary situation that needs to be handled carefully. Have you ever been involved in a hit and run accident? Do you know how to handle it? Read on to know about it.

In simple language, a hit and run accident is one where the person causing an accident or collision with another vehicle flees the scene purposely without tending to the injured or without giving any contact details. This is considered a severe crime under the law.

If you get caught up in a hit and run case, it is obvious to feel angry and perplexed because you don’t know how to get compensated for the damage caused to your car by the vehicle driver at fault who fled the accident scene.  But the good news is, you can take certain steps to make sure that you can claim for damages smoothly.

In this blog, we are discussing the hit and run meaning and the various ways by which a hit & run accident situation can be handled.

So, what is a hit and run accident?

As briefed above, hit and run is a situation where the driver causing an accident or collision (in most cases, the one who is at fault) flees the accident scene instantly without giving any contact details.

Thus a hit & run is a situation when a speeding vehicle hits your car and flees away from the accident scene purposely. Also, it can be a situation when a driver collides with your car that is parked somewhere without coming into notice of anyone. In this case also, the driver leaves the scene without any information or contact details and makes it impossible to get compensation for the damages caused to your car.

Also Read: Common Causes Of Road Accidents And How Can You Avoid Them

What you must do right after the accident:

Though it is difficult to stay calm and stress-free if you happen to be a victim of a hit and run case. However, keeping composure is important. Of course, it is important to look for possibilities by gathering information to trace the faulty vehicle as it also helps the police to catch the culprit.  Further, this will also make your car insurance company settle your claim with ease.

So, below are the details of the faulty car that you should gather:

  • Make of the car
  • Model of the car
  • Registration number of the car
  • Trace witness (if any) to the accident.
  • Request for the name and address of the witness.

Also, it is important to take note of the following:

  • Make a note of the time and location of the accident
  • Click as many pictures of the scene as possible
  • Click as many pictures of the damage of your vehicle as possible

Holding on to the above particulars also helps at the time of making a claim to the insurer for the damage. This way, the insurer also knows that your claim is not fraudulent. Even if your car was hit when it was parked somewhere and was unattended, these information will still help.

File an FIR

The next important step that the victim of a hit and run accident must take care of is to file a FIR report at the closest police station where the accident took place. This will make your case all the more strong at the time of claiming for insurance for the damages caused.

Process to Claim in case of Hit and Run Accident

There are few ways to get compensation for the damages caused to your vehicle in case of hit and run accident case. In case you fail to trace the details of the driver who collided his/her vehicle with your car, you can try to get information about their vehicle insurance from your insurance company.  If you can do that, you can easily make a claim for third-party liability insurance under the insurance policy of that car. However, if you cannot get that done, you can use the legal route to get the insurance claim from the faulty driver.

Also, in case of a hit & run case, it is up to the insurer’s discretion to decide whether your premium for the policy that you pay will be increased or not.

The Motor Vehicles Act states that a victim of a hit and run case receives the below amount as compensation for hit and run accident in India from the government.

Rs.25,000 – If case of death caused by the hit and run accident

Rs.12,500 – In case of serious injury and bodily damage received from the accident

Here is the claims procedure for a hit and run case in India as mentioned below:

  • The first step is that the victim should write an application to the Claim Enquiry Officer of his/her area.
  • The officer will investigate the situation and will present a report. In addition to the report, the officer will also submit the post mortem report or injury certificate which he/she will send to the Claims Settlement Commissioner.
  • After that, the district Deputy Commissioner will start the procedure of the claim. The payment will be made within 15 days of getting the enquiry report from the officer. The order of the approval is corresponded to the insurer’s office.
  • Such compensation is offered from the Solatium Fund that is secured by India’s general insurance industry.
  • New India Assurance Co. Ltd carry out the administration of such claims.

Conclusion

As discussed above, now you know what you should do if you get involved in a hit run accident. However, there are certain things that you must avoid doing in such a situation. For example, you must avoid leaving the accident spot so that you can confront the driver at-fault. Also, you should move your vehicle to a safe place so that the traffic is not blocked. Do not go away from the accident scene unless you collect enough details. Also, remember that hit and run case punishment in India is severe. So, it is better to avoid getting into such hassles.

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Gayatri Prabhu, Head-Digital Business at Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is one those few digital leaders who has the width and depth that is required to execute an ROI driven holistic digital strategy. She cuts through the noise, identifies the critical levers and leads her team to successful execution of the defined strategy. Her core mantra to win new and retain existing customers is: understand the consumer behavior and craft experiences around it.

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