When you are involved in a hit and run accident, it is understandable that you feel confused and angry. It is also a time when you would be unclear on how you can get compensated for the damages you suffered. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that the claim process is smoother than usual.
Here, we elaborate on the ways in which you can handle this unfortunate situation.
What Is Classified As A Hit And Run Accident?
A hit and run accident is one in which a driver (usually the one at fault) leaves the scene of the accident intentionally without providing contact details. Some examples of hit and run accidents are as follows:
- A vehicle hits you and speeds off without stopping
- A driver hits your parked car that was unattended, leaving no contact details for collection of damages.
What To Do Immediately After The Accident
Being the victim of a hit and run accident can result in a lot of stress, but it helps to stay calm. You should also look to gather as much details of the driver/vehicle at fault. When you have more information, the chances of the police catching the at-fault driver will be higher. Your car insurance provider will also be able to make decisions easily with respect to your claim.
You should look to get the details of the car, such as its make, model, and registration number. Also, identify whether there are any witnesses to the accident. If so, request for their names and contact details.
Additionally, you should note the following details:
- Write down the location and time of the accident
- Get pictures of the scene of the accident
- Get pictures of your vehicle - This could be useful in case you are able to see the paint of another car at the spot of the collision.
The above particulars will help you justify your car insurance claim with the insurance company and prove that it is not a fraudulent claim. If your car was hit at the time it was unattended, you should still note the time of the accident, the damage incurred, and the location of the collision.
Filing an FIR
If you are a victim of a hit and run accident, it is necessary that you inform the nearest police station of the incident. You should get an FIR filed, as this will add weightage to your car insurance claim.
Hit And Run Claim Process
If you have been unable to locate/identify the driver who hit you/your vehicle, you can try to get their vehicle insurance information from your insurer. You can then claim for liability insurance under his/her motor insurance policy. You can also get the compensation through the legal route.
It is up to the car insurance company to decide whether your insurance premium will go up following a hit and run claim. So, you can check with your insurance provider on this.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, hit and run accident victims will receive the following compensation from the government:
|If there was a death resulting from the hit and run accident||Fixed amount of Rs.25,000|
|If anyone was seriously hurt from the accident||Fixed amount of Rs.12,500|
The claims procedure in a hit and run accident is as follows:
- The victim of the accident or his lawyer should make an application to the Claim Enquiry Officer in each Taluk.
- After the investigation, the officer will submit a report along with the injury certificate or post mortem report to the Claims Settlement Commissioner.
- The District Collector or the Deputy Commissioner in the district will process the claim and make the payment within 15 days from the date of receipt of the Claim Enquiry Officer’s report. The sanction order will be communicated to the office of the insurer.
- The compensation for such accident cases are made from the Solatium Fund that is consolidated by the general insurance industry in India.
- The claim administration is undertaken by the New India Assurance Co. Ltd.
What Not To Do After A Hit And Run Accident
In case you are involved in a hit and run accident, there are certain things you should avoid doing:
- Do not leave the accident spot to confront the at-fault driver.
- Do not wait in a travel lane in your vehicle; try to get the vehicle moved to a safe place, if possible.
- Do not leave the accident scene without collecting adequate information.
- While waiting for the police, do not block the traffic.
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