In October, I realized that the kids were getting too big for the car we had. Literally every time we were in the car, Charlie’s knees were in my back. If I switched the kids up and moved them around, Rachael would kick me in the butt. So we bought a Chevy Traverse. I absolutely love my car. Its beautiful, fits our family well and it gives us space. But we’ve had some bad luck with it. In December, someone broke into it and stole a few items. Luckily nothing of value and no damage. Then a few weeks ago someone hit it in the parking lot and they took off. So what do you do when dealing with a Hit and Run Accident?
Dealing with Hit and Run Accident: Witnesses
The first thing to do is see if there are witnesses. In my case, my car was in the parking lot and I was in Starbucks. A wonderful young lady came in and asked if any of us owned the car. She thankfully grabbed the license plate number and description of the vehicle. I took all of that information as well as getting her information in case there was a problem.
Key Details to Get from Witnesses
- Information on vehicle that hit you: Plate number, description of vehicle, description of driver
Dealing with Hit and Run Accident: Police Involvement
When I went to the parking lot, at first I didn’t see any damage to the car. But I talked with Steve and we agreed we needed to make a police report. Be prepared to explain where you are, why you’re calling and a description of your vehicle. When the police arrive, have your driver’s license, insurance and any witness information ready. Remember to be cordial and answer any questions honestly. After the police officer arrived, he was taking down all my info as well as the info for the witness and looking up the person that the vehicle was owned by. As he was doing that, I was rubbing salt off the car to see if I saw any damage. It was at this point I found this:
It is definitely not a lot of damage but it was the principle here. I just bought this car. According to the witness, the person knew they hit my car as they got out and looked and didn’t leave a note.
Dealing with Hit and Run Accident: Insurance
The next step is to call insurance companies. I called ours first as we had no idea if we would get information on the other driver. They were amazing at helping me hunt down information. The other driver was contacted by the police and she then called me to give me her information. I have to say I was less than pleased with her insurance company as we’ve had a few issues. Don’t forget to stand your ground. Hound them and make them do what they’re supposed to do. But again a thank you to Allstate who is our agent.
Dealing with Hit and Run Accident: Find an Outstanding Collision Center
So this may sound like a simple idea. But finding a good collision center can be hard. We’ve been using Chesapeake Collision since we moved to Calvert county 16 years ago. I have to say they have always been amazing to us. They have answered all questions, helped us when vehicles were totaled and worked hard to get our vehicles fixed timely.
So what makes them outstanding? I went to get the estimated of the damage done on a day that it was raining. I called early that morning to see if they still wanted me to come. Absolutely, they said. We will mark the estimate appropriately. I get an email the same day with the estimate: $123. No price gouging here people! So I set up the appointment to get the car fixed.
Dealing with Hit and Run Accident: Getting the Car Fixed
Monday I arrived bright and early at the shop. The insurance company has set up a rental car. The problem no one at any time said I needed to pay a deposit. Now I realize that a deposit will come back but its the point that no one advised me of this. I called the adjuster and got a voicemail. I left a message and well I’m still waiting for a phone call back. Steve and I discuss it and decide he will just come get me. I’m not paying out of pocket for this deposit at this point.
Tonya from Chesapeake Collision came to the rescue. She had a tech look at my car real quick. They knew it should be an easy fix but wanted to make sure there wasn’t further damage behind that piece. No extra damage! So Tonya says can you come back this time tomorrow? I say of course.
I showed up at 9 am Tuesday morning and wait while they fix my car. After a few minutes, Tonya says Holly we’re going to wash the car if that’s okay? UM Well yeah! In less than 45 minutes, I have my car fixed and clean and it smells delicious!
Dealing with Hit and Run Accident: Final Hints
The two biggest take aways I got from this whole experience are this:
- If you hit a vehicle or witness a vehicle being hit, stay, leave your information or call it in to the police. You may not see damage but it could be there.
- Amazingly awesome collision centers are out there you just have to find the best one for you.
A huge thank you to Tonya and Denise for smiling both days this week, keeping me calm and making me smile!