Our Hit and Run Accidents Lawyer Can Help You

Recently, in April 2023, in Santa Ana, there was a terrifying hit and run was caught on camera. The cops watched the dashcam video, which showed two pedestrians getting slammed by a white truck, and then later, the truck crashed into another car.

Though this was in Santa Ana,  in Los Angeles, hit-and-run accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence and can leave victims with serious injuries and property damage, with the added stress of not knowing who caused the accident.

We all know how tragic car crashes can be for accident victims and their families. Even the most careful drivers have experienced the worst when an unknown vehicle crashes into them from behind and the rider drives away. The newspapers are filled with news about innocent hit-and-run victims left to die alone on the streets by unknown negligent drivers. Thanks to the alert passersby and medical teams who come to the aid of such victims in such critical times.

Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without providing contact information or aiding injured parties. This can involve collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, or property. These incidents can cause significant physical, emotional, and financial distress for the victims. As a hit-and-run accident victim in California, knowing what to do is crucial. 

What Counts under Hit and Run in LA

Under California law, drivers involved in an accident are supposed to stop and provide their name, contact information, and insurance information to the other parties involved. If someone is injured, drivers are also required to provide reasonable assistance, such as calling for emergency medical services.

If a driver fails to stop and provide information or assistance after an accident, they can face criminal charges for hit and run. Victims of hit-and-run accidents may also be entitled to compensation for the damages, injuries, and losses through their own insurance or through legal action.

If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles, it is important to seek medical attention and report the accident to the police as soon as possible. You should also contact a personal injury attorney, who can help you through the legal steps and pursue compensation for the damages.

 

What to do After a Hit and Run Accident in California
What to do After a Hit and Run Accident in California

Injuries Suffered By Hit and Run Accidents for Victims in California

California sees a significant number of hit-and-run accidents each year. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), there were over 28,000 hit-and-run incidents reported in 2019 alone. Los Angeles leads as one of the cities with the highest rates, reflecting a concerning trend. Hit-and-run accidents are reportedly on the rise in California, including those resulting in fatalities.

The consequences of hit-and-run accidents are severe for victims:

  • Physical Injuries: Victims often face serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment.
  • Emotional Trauma: The sudden, unexpected nature of these accidents can lead to long-term psychological effects.
  • Financial Burdens: Medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages add up quickly.
  • Legal Repercussions: Drivers who flee can face felony charges, substantial fines, and imprisonment if caught.
  • Wrongful deaths: Due to delayed medical assistance or the severity of injuries, it is common for hit-and-run accident victims to succumb to their injuries either on the spot or during medical procedures.

Hit-and-run accidents can have severe consequences for the negligent riders, including criminal charges and penalties. Penalties for hit-and-run offenses in California can vary depending on the circumstances but may include fines, license suspension, probation, mandatory attendance in traffic school, and even imprisonment.

Recovering Damages After a Hit-and-Run

It can be possible to get compensation damages after a hit-and-run accident, although the process can be more complicated than in other types of accidents. In a hit-and-run, the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, making it difficult to identify and hold them accountable for their actions. However, there are still several ways you may be able to recover damages.

First, if you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your car insurance policy, you may be able to make a claim under that coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to protect you in the event that you are in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.

Second, if the hit-and-run driver is identified, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them to recover damages for your injuries and losses. If the driver is not identified, you may be able to file a claim with the state’s Victim Compensation Program to receive financial assistance.

In order to increase your chances of recovering damages after a hit-and-run accident, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Contact the police immediately and report the accident.
  • Gather as much information as possible about the other driver and their vehicle, such as license plate number, make and model of the car, and any other identifying features.
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible.
  • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you pursue compensation.

Overall, while recovering damages after a hit-and-run accident can be challenging, it is not impossible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore all of your options and work to maximize your recovery.

Legal Consequences for Hit-and-Run Accidents in California

Some people may have an opinion that at times even innocent drivers have to bear the brunt of negligent pedestrians or other riders on the roads. Fearing risk to their lives or that they may be penalized for an act that was not their fault, drivers often flee the accident scene. While few others see the wrong in running away from the accident scene and leaving the injured victims to fend for themselves or at the mercy of passersby.

California’s Vehicle Code ensures that innocent victims do not suffer undue harm because of the misconduct or recklessness of irresponsible drivers on the roads in California.

  1. MIsdemeanor Offense: If a hit-and-run accident causes damage to property but no injuries or deaths, it is considered a misdemeanor offense. The potential penalties for a misdemeanor hit-and-run in California include fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
  2. Felony Offense: When a hit-and-run accident involves injury or death, it is considered a felony offense. The penalties for a felony hit-and-run in California can be much more severe. They include fines of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to four years for accidents causing injury. For accidents causing death, the penalties can include fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to six years.
  3. DL Suspension: In addition to the fines and potential imprisonment, hit-and-run offenders in California may face a suspension of their driver’s license. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the offense.
  4. Criminal Charges: Hit-and-run drivers may also face additional criminal charges depending on the circumstances. For example, if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, they may face DUI charges in addition to hit-and-run charges.

Not just these, a hit-and-run driver may also have to face consequences like increased premiums, creating a permanent mark on one’s driving record, denial of insurance claim to the negligent driver, or even license suspension. By owning up to your mistake and not leaving the scene, you may have the scope to share the fault if you can prove that the victim’s negligence also contributed to the car crash.

When to File a Personal Injury Claim in Hit and Run in LA?

If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles, you should consider filing a personal injury claim as soon as possible. California law requires that hit-and-run accidents be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours, so you should report the accident to the police immediately.

In addition, you should seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible and document any medical treatment you receive. This can help support your claim for damages later on.

Once you have received medical treatment and reported the accident to the police, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you investigate the accident and work to identify the hit-and-run driver, as well as help you file a claim with your own insurance company.

In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim for a hit-and-run accident. However, it’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

You Can Get Compensation with Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles, you may be able to receive compensation through your own insurance coverage. In California, drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which can cover damages and injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver is unknown.

If you have UM coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. However, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay out on these claims and may try to offer you a lower settlement than you deserve.

To ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can review your insurance policy, investigate the accident, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you get the best possible outcome.

The Pacific Attorney Group for Hit and Run Accidents

The Pacific Attorney Group is a law firm that has experience in representing victims of hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident, our attorneys at Pacific Attorney Group can help you understand your legal rights and options.

Our firm’s attorneys can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and work to identify the at-fault driver. We will also help you file a claim with your insurance company and negotiate for a fair settlement. If necessary, we will also take your case to court to fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Pacific Attorney Group’s team of attorneys has a proven track record of success in handling hit-and-run cases and other personal injury claims in Los Angeles. We are dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized legal representation to our clients and helping them get the justice and compensation they deserve.

Contact us and book a free consultation to discuss more about the case.