What to Do in a Hit and Run Accident

Being in a car accident is scary and frustrating enough, but when the other driver takes off, those feelings can be escalated. A hit and run is any accident in which a driver purposefully leaves the scene without leaving any information. This can include a driver hitting your parked car and not leaving a note, or something more serious like a car hits you or a pedestrian and speeds off. Regardless, it’s important to take the right steps if you’re in this situation.

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  1. Gather as much information about the car or driver as you can. The license plate number, color, make or model of the car, and even the direction the car was heading is all useful information for police and your car insurance company.
  2. Don’t attempt to chase the other driver. Instead, pull over safely and call the police immediately. Police reports need to be submitted within 48-72 hours. Look around for any possible witnesses to the accident and ask for their names and contact information. Be sure to ask witnesses if they have any information about the driver or vehicle that hit your car.
  3. If you’re a Metromile customer, follow our Accident Checklist and assess accident damage. This includes recording the incident by surveying the scene and taking pictures of everything you see, including the damage from all necessary angles, as well as pictures of the spot where the accident happened.
  4. Contact your insurance company to report the accident and file a claim.

If you find yourself in a situation where your car was damaged when you weren’t there, follow similar steps. Document any damage and ask around to see if anyone saw what happened. File a claim with your insurance company but remember that without a license plate number, it’s unlikely you’ll be get reimbursed, or you’ll be subject to your deductible.

Remember, never leave the scene of an accident yourself. If you’re involved in a hit and run, or any accident, and you are a Metromile customer, you can file a claim online or reach us at 1.888.595.5485
. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Maintenance Monday: Assessing Accident Damage

Metromile recently posted tips on how to be prepared for an accident, and I wanted to elaborate a bit more on what you should do at the scene. Being involved in an accident can be frustrating, intimidating and downright scary, so you might be tempted to get away as soon as possible. Before you leave, however, there are a few important things you must do to ensure you don’t make the situation even worse.

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First and foremost, if you are ever in an accident, make sure your surroundings are safe before you exit your vehicle. Don’t assume that other drivers are aware of the situation; they might be oblivious to the situation and frustrated with the extra traffic you may have created. Before you exit your car, you should:

  • Turn off the vehicle
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Make sure that you or your passengers are capable of exiting the vehicle
  • Grab your cell phone
  • Look around for any hazards

Once you decide it’s safe to exit the vehicle, pay close attention to your surroundings. Try to get out of traffic and over to the side of the road. Once you are out of harm’s way, give yourself and your passengers a quick assessment. Are you or any of your passengers injured? If so, call emergency services right away, and then call the police to file an accident report.

You also need to assess the damage. Before you attempt to drive away, there are a few things you should check for:

  • Fluids will typically leak from the front of the vehicle, and if you see signs of this, it is not safe to start your car.
  • If you smell gasoline or see smoke, the vehicle is not safe to drive or even be around.
  • You should also check for broken glass, flat tires, a deployed airbag or any part of your vehicle protruding outwards. If you notice any of these things, call a tow truck.

If everything looks normal and you decide it is safe to drive, be cautious and pay attention the way the vehicle is performing. It does not take a huge impact to cause damage to the mechanical parts of the vehicle, so make sure the brakes feel normal and that it doesn’t feel hard to steer. If you notice any of these things, or your car starts to smoke or smell funny, then these are indicators that something was damaged and should be inspected by a mechanic before you drive it any further.

These are just a few simple things that can make an intimidating situation a little safer for you and your passengers. If you are a Metromile customer and are in an accident, you can always file a claim online or reach our claims team at 1.888.595.5485
. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Be Prepared: What to Do Before & After a Car Accident

No matter how minor, being in a car accident can really jolt you (pun not intended). To ease the burden and shock, familiarize yourself with the following tips about what to do before and after an accident.

car accident

Before the accident
Be sure to keep your vehicle registration, auto insurance and emergency contact list in your car, and always carry your driver’s license with you when driving. Keep a set of orange cones or warning triangles in your trunk to help alert traffic in the situation of an accident.

At the scene
Before worrying about anything else, make sure everyone is OK (including people in the other car), and call 911 if anyone is injured. Then immediately move everyone (and your car if possible) to a safe location on the side of the road.

Once in a safe space, be sure to call the police to file a police report, and use your smartphone to take pictures of the damage. Before the other party departs, exchange information and take down their insurance information, license plate and a photo of their driver’s license. Notify your insurance company immediately and be ready to provide them with this information. If you are a Metromile customer, you can easily file your claim online or call us at 1.888.595.5485.

In case of phantom accidents
In the case of a hit and run, be sure to get as much information as possible, especially a full or partial license plate if possible. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Avoid fixing the car until the damage has been assessed by an adjuster.

In the case of stolen car, call the police as soon as possible to file a report, and then contact your insurance company. If you are a pay-per-mile customer, the Pulse can be used to help locate a stolen car (it’s happened in the past!).

The Aftermath
At Metromile, a customer service advocate will reach out proactively to help ensure the claims process goes as smooth as possible. No other leading insurance company does this! They will track your progress and help you with any questions you may have about resolving the claim.

If you are a pay-per-mile insurance customer and are in an accident, you can reach the Metromile claims team 24/7 at 888.215.9176. Whether you need help locating repair facilities or need an update on work being done, Metromile can get you the information you need. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.