Being involved in any kind of accident is stressful, but a hit-and-run may be the most stressful of all. Watching the culprit drive away from the scene of your accident is a special variety of frustrating.

There are certain actions you should absolutely not take in the aftermath of a hit-and-run. For instance, many people try to chase after the culprit in an attempt to bring him or her to justice. According to State Farm Insurance, after a hit-and-run accident the first thing you should do is stop the car.

Why should I not give chase?

It is highly likely that your accident has eyewitnesses. If both cars drive off after a collision, the eyewitnesses are not going to know who is at fault. Pulling over and stopping will help you get valid eyewitness accounts of the accident.

Additionally, if anybody has sustained injury as a result of the hit-and-run, you should call 911 for assistance. If nobody has sustained injury, call the non-emergency police number to file a police report.

What else should I do?

It is important to document the scene of the accident with your camera phone if you have one. Additionally, try to talk to some of the eyewitnesses that viewed the accident. Given the prevalence of smartphones, it is possible that one of the eyewitnesses took video or camera footage of the accident. They may have a picture of the culprit’s license plate.

Getting eyewitness accounts of the accident can help you with your insurance. Additionally, you may be able to press charges once the police locate the culprit.