When Should You Report a Hit-And-Run Accident in Sacramento?

Car Accidents | May 6, 2024

Sustaining an injury or property damage due to a hit-and-run driver can be a scary and incredibly frustrating experience. However, one of the first steps you need to take after a hit-and-run incident occurs is reporting the incident to local police in Sacramento. Here, we want to discuss why it is important to report these incidents right away, as well as what you can do to help improve your chances of recovering compensation after a hit-and-run occurs.

Reporting the Collision – Car Accident Reporting Requirements in California

In California, reporting requirements for car accidents are strict, especially in the case of hit-and-run incidents. Here are the critical steps and guidelines you need to follow:


  1. Contact Law Enforcement. California law requires you to report accidents to the police or California Highway Patrol (CHP) immediately if anyone was injured, killed, or if there is significant property damage. In Sacramento, call the Sacramento Police Department directly or dial 911.
  2. File a Traffic Accident Report (SR-1). If the accident caused injuries or property damage over $1,000, you must also report it within 10 days to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by filing a Traffic Accident Report (Form SR-1). This applies even if the other driver fled the scene.
  3. Gather Evidence. Collect as much information as possible while at the scene of the hit-and-run. Take photos of your vehicle’s damage, the location, and any visible injuries. If you can, identify witnesses who may provide statements to the police.
  4. Notify Your Insurance Company. Report the hit-and-run incident to your insurance carrier promptly. Provide them with the police report number, photographs, and any other relevant documentation.
  5. Seek Medical Attention. Even if you do not think you were injured, seek medical attention. Some injuries may not manifest until days later, and a prompt evaluation will support your insurance claim.

How Can You Improve Your Chances of Recovering Compensation?

Recovering compensation after a hit-and-run incident is more challenging, but the following steps can improve your chances:

  1. Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy, it can help cover your damages. This coverage may pay for medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs if the at-fault driver is not located.
  2. Collision Coverage. Collision coverage will cover the damage to your vehicle even if the other driver is not identified. This could require a deductible, but it ensures that you can get your vehicle repaired or replaced quickly.
  3. Work With an Attorney. A skilled Sacramento hit-and-run car accident attorney will help you understand your insurance policy and navigate the claim process. They will also:
  • Work with law enforcement to track down the at-fault driver.
  • Ensure your insurance company properly investigates and evaluates your claim.
  • Help gather witness statements and other evidence.
  • Represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or, if necessary, file a lawsuit in civil court to secure compensation.
  1. Provide Thorough Documentation. Having well-documented evidence, including medical records, photographs, witness statements, and police reports, will support your case.
  2. Stay Organized and Persistent. It is important to keep detailed records of every step you take after a hit-and-run accident, from phone calls to the insurance company to receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. Stay patient but persistent in pursuing your claim.