A uk police on a motorcycle riding on the street

Hit and Run Accident: How to Deal With It and Claim Compensation

November 21, 2023

If you’ve ever found yourself in the unfortunate situation of being part of a hit and run accident, you’ll already know just how much of a perplexing and stressful experience it can be. However, knowing how to handle it - should it ever occur - can make a world of difference, not just for your mental health but also when it comes to making an insurance claim. In the following blog, we’re going to guide you through what you should do if you find yourself in this scenario, and how you can claim compensation. Let’s take a look.

The Immediate Aftermath

Steps to Take at the Scene

First things first, you’re going to want to check for any injuries; after all, your safety and the safety of others is most important. If anyone is hurt, call the emergency services on 999 immediately, and do your best to keep safe on the road as you wait for help. If you're not injured, try to remain calm and think practically about the next steps.

Gathering Information and Witnesses

While it likely feels like a blur to remember, it’s important to try and recollect as much information as you can. Did you catch a glimpse of the car or its registration number? What about the colour, make, or model? Every little detail matters, so try your best to remember. You can also look around for witnesses who might have seen what happened, as their accounts can be incredibly valuable. CCTV camera footage can also come in useful if there are businesses nearby.

Reporting to the Police

In the case of a hit and run, it's vital to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. They will file a report, which is crucial for your insurance claim, and they’ll also start their own investigation to try and track down the fleeing driver.

The Legal Implications

Duty to Report a Hit and Run

In the UK, you're legally required to report a hit and run to the police within 24 hours, and failing to do so could land you in trouble, even if you're the victim. It's part of your duty as a driver or a road user, so make sure to inform the authorities.

Criminal Consequences for Fleeing Drivers

For the driver who fled the scene, the consequences can be incredibly serious, especially if you’re hurt or your car has been significantly damaged. Hit and run is not just a traffic violation; it's a criminal offence, and if caught, the fleeing driver could face charges, which might include fines, points on their licence, or even imprisonment.

Hit and Run Laws in the UK

In the UK, the law takes hit and run accidents seriously, and the legal system is designed to protect victims and ensure that those who flee the scene are held accountable. Remind yourself of this if you’re feeling stressed, and know that the law is on your side.

Reporting to Your Insurance Company

police van parked  on the side of the road

After dealing with the immediate aftermath and the legal side of things, your next step should be to contact your insurance company. Report the accident to them, providing all the details and the police report reference number, which you should have within the first 24 hours of the accident. Even if the fleeing driver isn't found, you can still claim compensation, especially if you have uninsured driver cover as part of your policy.

In cases where repairs are needed and the fleeing driver isn't found, you might also need to seek non fault accident repairs. This is where your insurance can step in to cover the costs, depending on your policy and coverage.

The Importance of Evidence

When it comes to hit and run accidents, evidence is king; your gathered documentation is going to be the cornerstone of your claim, and is also going to significantly impact the outcome. Here's why it's so important:

  • Building a Strong Case: Solid evidence can strengthen your claim, whether it's for the police investigation or your insurance claim. For those who weren’t at the scene, it paints a clearer picture of what happened.
  • Identifying the Offender: Any piece of evidence could be the key to identifying the fleeing driver: this could be dashcam footage, witness statements, or even nearby CCTV footage.
  • Supporting Your Insurance Claim: For your insurance company to process your claim, especially in a hit and run scenario, they need evidence to understand the circumstances and extent of the damage.

Claims Process for Hit and Run Compensation

Now, let's talk about the claims process. Navigating this can be intricate, but it's key to getting the compensation you're entitled to.

Report the Incident

As mentioned, you’ll need to report the accident to the police as well as your insurance provider. You’ll need to then submit a claim, including all your gathered evidence and the police report.

Uninsured Drivers’ Claim

If the hit and run driver isn't identified, and you have coverage for such scenarios, you can claim through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) in the UK.

Assessment and Compensation

The insurance company or the MIB will assess your claim; this includes evaluating the evidence, possibly inspecting your vehicle, and determining the extent of your losses.


Finally, if your claim is successful, you'll receive compensation for your losses. This can include repair costs, medical expenses, and sometimes compensation for the trauma.

The Bottom Line

While experiencing a hit and run car accident is a traumatic event, know that the law is on your side. Staying organised, keeping thorough records of the event, and understanding your insurance policy inside out can help smooth out the process and ensure that you get the compensation you’re entitled to - and deserve.