Every year, we witness an increase in incidents where drivers hit other motorists or pedestrians and flee the scene instead of stopping to help the victims. While addressing the alarming trend of hit-and-run accidents helps make the roads safer, it’s also important to talk about how the emotional and financial impact of these accidents can be overwhelming for victims.
Although nothing can erase the pain, families and loved ones can play a vital role in supporting victims as they navigate the traumatic aftermath of these incidents. If your loved one is a victim of a hit-and-run accident, read on to learn about what you can do to help them get back on their feet again
Helping a Family Member Recover After A Hit-and-Run Accident
Here are some tips on how you can best support your loved one after a hit-and-run accident to help them on their road to recovery:
Provide Emotional Support
Victims of hit-and-run accidents may suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other emotional issues after the incident. During this period, families are advised to offer emotional support and a compassionate presence to the victims.
This means you should offer a listening ear without judgment and allow the victims to express their emotions regarding the accident freely. You could also offer words of comfort and encouragement to help them feel more confident and less alone. This will help them as they begin their path to recovery and move forward with their lives.
Assist Them With Activities of Daily Living
In cases where your loved one has sustained debilitating injuries, it’s important to offer assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, toileting, grooming, meal preparation, transportation to medical appointments, and cleaning.
Assisting with these activities can help alleviate their stress and allow them to focus on their recovery. This is particularly helpful if the victim lives alone.
Offer Financial Support
Generally, hit-and-run accidents result in significant financial burdens for the victims and their loved ones. In addition to huge medical bills, your loved one may be facing lost wages, vehicle repair costs, transportation costs, and other expenses.
In this case, you can explore various financial assistance options, such as crowdfunding campaigns and fundraising events, to help them offset medical bills, transportation costs, vehicle repair expenses, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses related to the accident. You could also offer direct financial assistance to cover immediate needs and alleviate the financial strain.
Be the Victims’ Advocate
Family members and loved ones may also serve as advocates for the victim’s needs. For example, you could refer them to experienced lawyers who can handle their case and ensure they get the financial compensation they deserve. You could also communicate with the relevant authorities to ensure the investigation is successful and the victim’s legal rights are protected.
Respect Their Boundaries
While it’s important to be there for your loved ones after an accident, you should also respect their boundaries. Essentially, you should give them space to process their feelings and thoughts, and ask them if they have any specific preferences on how they’d like you to help them out.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Here are several things to do to protect yourself or your loved one following a hit-and-run accident:
Don’t Go After the Driver
Following a hit-and-run car accident, you may feel tempted to go after the at-fault driver once you see them fleeing the scene. However, this is not a good idea. Involving yourself in a high-speed car chase on the road may end up endangering your life and that of other road users.
Document the Accident Scene
If you’re physically capable, it’s important to document the accident scene. Start by taking pictures of your injuries, damage to your car, traffic signs around you, and any other useful details at the accident scene.
If you can remember the make, color, model, or license plate of the vehicle, ensure that you write it down. Plus, if you were able to get a good look at the at-fault driver, note their physical characteristics.
Talk to Witnesses
If there are witnesses at the accident scene, talk to them and write down their names and contact details. It’s possible that one of the witnesses saw something you didn’t, which can be helpful for your case.
Seek Medical Attention
Immediately after leaving the accident scene, the next step is to seek medical attention. Even if you or your loved one have not sustained any visible injuries, you should still see a doctor. If you fail to do so, the at-fault driver and their insurance company can always argue that the injuries you sustained in the accident were not severe enough. This will result in you receiving a lowball settlement offer for the damages you’ve incurred.
Contact the Police
After a hit-and-run car accident, it’s best that you contact the police and inform them about what has just happened. The police will soon arrive at the accident scene to gather evidence and record a report. Ensure you get a copy of the police report before leaving the accident scene. With the help of your description, the police will begin the search for the at-fault driver right away.
Contact a Lawyer
Following the accident, it’s best to talk to a lawyer experienced in handling hit-and-run accident cases. Such a lawyer will launch a thorough investigation into who the at-fault driver is and help you get justice.
Notify the Insurance Company
After receiving medical attention and consulting a lawyer, ensure you notify the insurance company about the accident. However, provide only the basic details regarding the accident per your lawyer’s advice.
The Bottom Line
No one can anticipate accidents, and they can have devastating consequences. Whether it’s a motorcycle or a car accident, the victim may suffer emotional, physical, and financial injuries.
In the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident, the love and support of family and loved ones can make a huge difference in the victims’ lives. By offering emotional, financial, and legal support, you can be a beacon of hope for your loved one as they navigate the road to healing and recovery.