Hit-and-run crashes are some of the most complex cases that auto accident victims face. Since you can’t sue someone if you don’t know their identity, it’s often necessary for victims to work with their own insurance companies to get compensation in a case against “John Doe.”

The steps you take right after a hit-and-run crash play a big role in the ultimate success of your accident and injury claim. Here are five things you should do immediately after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.

1. Contact the Police Immediately

After any type of accident, the first thing to do is call 911. A police officer will arrive at the scene of the crash to file a report. The report will later be used by insurance companies when reviewing the claim.

It’s important to be upfront and factual when speaking with the responding police officer. Give the officer any information you have regarding the identity of the person who struck you and a description of their vehicle.

The officer might also speak to any witnesses of the crash for more information. You can later obtain a copy of the police report for your own personal records. You might also use that report when filing an insurance claim.

2. Get Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible

If you or one of your passengers is injured, it’s important to request an ambulance when you call 911. You can then go with the emergency medical responders if they think you should be taken to the hospital.

If your injuries are either not immediately apparent after a crash or minor enough that you feel an ambulance ride to the hospital is unnecessary, it’s still important to see a doctor as quickly as possible after the crash. The adrenaline from a collision can mask symptoms of injuries, and getting evaluated can help you rule out anything serious.

Whatever your doctor orders you to do, whether it’s scheduling follow-up treatments, taking medications, or seeing other specialists, you should follow their orders. This is important not just for your health, but also to document your injuries and your care should you need to file an insurance claim.

3. Take Pictures and Gather Witness Information

If possible, take pictures of the scene of the crash and any damages you might have suffered. This includes your injuries and damage to your vehicle. These images will help establish the extent of your injuries and property damage in insurance claims.

Just as the police officer will speak to potential witnesses when they arrive on the scene, you too can approach witnesses and ask them for their contact information. This is especially helpful in cases involving hit-and-run drivers because every little bit of evidence is helpful to the authorities, your attorney, and the insurance company when it comes to tracking down who hit you.

If you’re severely injured after being struck by the hit-and-run driver, you might be unable to document the scene or speak to witnesses. If you have passengers that aren’t severely injured, you might be able to ask them to do this for you.

WATCH: Gary Bruce Discusses Hit & Run Accidents on WTVM

4. Contact an Attorney

One of the best ways to maximize the compensation you receive from the insurance company is to hire a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney. They understand what’s needed in hit-and-run cases to get compensation, and they’ll be able to speak to the insurance company on your behalf.

In many—but not all—hit-and-run cases, the identity of the driver who struck the victim is never found. Your attorney and the police will always do their best to find the at-fault driver. More importantly, your attorney will be familiar with best practices to get you all the compensation you’re entitled to whether the at-fault driver is located or not.

Typically, most of the compensation that victims get in hit-and-run cases comes from uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance policies. If you have this policy, you’ll be better positioned to get compensation. However, other policies might also be leveraged to get more money for your damages.

WATCH: Gary Bruce Discusses the Importance of UIM Policies in Hit & Run Cases

When it comes to getting adequate compensation, hit-and-run cases can be complex. You need every advantage possible, which is why having an experienced attorney on your side makes such a difference.

5. Make a Written Claim

Make sure you notify your insurance company as soon as possible IN WRITING about the wreck, and your potential need to use your uninsured motorist coverage. Any delay can impact your rights under your insurance contract.

The Law Offices of Gary Bruce Help Injured People in Georgia and Alabama

At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, we know what it takes to get our clients the compensation they’re entitled to by law. Though we’re based in Columbus, GA, and Phenix City, AL, we help clients throughout Georgia and Alabama.

If you need attorneys who know Alabama and Georgia law, the Law Offices of Gary Bruce is here to take your call. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team.

WATCH: Gary Bruce Discusses “John Doe Cases” After Hit & Run Accidents