Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Hit-and-run pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles are deeply distressing incidents that occur when a driver involved in an accident leaves the area without stopping to provide assistance or exchange information. These accidents leave pedestrians vulnerable and often result in severe injuries or even fatalities. The nature of hit-and-run accidents can leave victims and their families feeling helpless, unsure of how to seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.
In Los Angeles, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without fulfilling legal obligations. However, hit-and-run accidents continue to be a prevalent problem, leaving victims facing physical, emotional, and financial burdens. It is important to understand the legal aspects surrounding hit-and-run pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles and the options available for seeking compensation and holding the responsible party accountable.
Hit and Run Laws in Los Angeles
Hit-and-run laws in Los Angeles, as in most jurisdictions, are designed to hold individuals accountable for their actions and ensure that victims of hit-and-run accidents have avenues for seeking justice. Here are some key aspects of hit-and-run laws in Los Angeles:
- Duty to Stop: California law mandates that drivers involved in an accident, whether it involves another vehicle, a pedestrian, or property, must immediately stop at the scene of the accident.
- Providing Information: In hit-and-run accidents, drivers are required to provide their name, contact information, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration to the other party involved in the accident or to law enforcement if the other party is not present or cannot be located.
- Rendering Aid: Drivers involved in an accident must also provide reasonable assistance to injured parties, including arranging for medical attention or calling emergency services if necessary.
- Reporting to Law Enforcement: In hit-and-run cases involving injury or property damage, the driver is obligated to report the accident to law enforcement within a specified timeframe.
- Criminal Penalties: Hit-and-run offenses can result in criminal charges, depending on the severity of the accident and the extent of injuries or damages. Penalties may include fines, license suspension, probation, and even imprisonment, particularly in cases involving injuries or fatalities.
- Civil Remedies: In addition to criminal charges, hit-and-run victims may pursue civil remedies to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. This may involve filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party to recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related losses.
It is important for victims of hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles to report the incident to law enforcement promptly and seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can guide them through the legal process, gather evidence, and pursue all available avenues to hold the responsible party accountable and seek the compensation they deserve.
Why do Hit and Run Pedestrian Crashes Happen?
Hit-and-run pedestrian crashes in Los Angeles can occur for various reasons, though none of them justify leaving the scene of an accident. Here are some factors that may contribute to hit-and-run incidents:
- Fear of Consequences: In some cases, drivers flee the scene of an accident out of fear of facing legal consequences. They may be intoxicated, driving without a valid license, or have a prior criminal record, and they choose to evade responsibility to avoid further trouble.
- Lack of Insurance: Uninsured or underinsured drivers may choose to flee the scene to avoid being held financially liable for the damages they caused. They may believe that escaping the scene will help them avoid the costs associated with insurance claims or lawsuits.
- Panicked Reaction: Some drivers may panic in the aftermath of an accident, especially if they are inexperienced or have limited knowledge of proper procedures. Rather than staying to address the situation, they may instinctively flee due to a heightened emotional state.
- Lack of Awareness: In certain hit-and-run cases, drivers may not be fully aware that they have struck a pedestrian. This can happen in situations where the driver is distracted, driving recklessly, or inattentive to their surroundings.
- Intentional Malicious Acts: Unfortunately, some hit-and-run incidents involve intentional acts of aggression or criminal behavior. This can include cases where the driver purposely targets a pedestrian or engages in road rage behavior, fleeing the scene to avoid apprehension.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe and life-altering. The following are common pedestrian accident injuries:
- Fractures and Broken Bones: Pedestrians often suffer fractures and broken bones in accidents, such as broken arms, legs, wrists, or hips. These injuries may require surgery, immobilization, and extensive rehabilitation.
- Head and Brain Injuries: Pedestrians are at high risk of head injuries, including concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and skull fractures. These injuries can have long-term effects on cognitive function, memory, motor skills, and overall quality of life.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Pedestrians may sustain spinal cord injuries, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can have a profound impact on mobility, sensation, and daily functioning.
- Back and Neck Injuries: Accidents can cause back and neck injuries, including herniated discs, whiplash, and strains. These injuries can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility and require ongoing medical treatment.
- Internal Organ Damage: Pedestrians can suffer internal injuries, such as damage to the liver, kidneys, or spleen, due to the impact of the accident. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Pedestrians often experience soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, sprains, strains, and deep lacerations. While these injuries may not be as severe as others, they can still cause significant pain and discomfort and require medical treatment.
- Emotional and Psychological Trauma: Pedestrian accidents can also result in emotional and psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. The psychological impact of an accident should not be overlooked, as it can greatly affect a person’s overall well-being.
Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accident in LA
Obtaining compensation for a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Los Angeles can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Here are some avenues for seeking compensation in such cases:
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, you may be eligible to make a claim under this coverage. UM, coverage is designed to provide compensation in situations where the at-fault driver is uninsured or cannot be identified, such as in hit-and-run accidents.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits: If you have Personal Injury Protection coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, it can provide coverage for medical expenses and lost income regardless of who is at fault. PIP benefits can help cover immediate costs while pursuing other avenues of compensation.
- Seeking the Driver: Law enforcement authorities and investigators will work to identify and locate the hit-and-run driver. If the driver is found, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Third-Party Liability: In some cases, there may be other parties who are partially responsible for the accident, such as property owners or municipalities. For example, if the accident occurred due to a hazardous condition on a poorly maintained sidewalk or road, you may have a claim against the responsible party.
- Crime Victim Compensation: In certain circumstances, victims of hit-and-run accidents may be eligible for compensation through state-run crime victim compensation programs. These programs are designed to provide financial assistance to victims of violent crimes, including hit-and-run accidents.
To navigate the complex process of seeking compensation for a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, gather evidence, work with investigators, and advocate for your rights to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.
We Can Help
The Pacific Attorney Group is a trusted law firm in Los Angeles that specializes in personal injury cases, including hit-and-run pedestrian accidents. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to helping victims of such accidents seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.
When you choose The Pacific Attorney Group, you can expect the following:
- Expert Legal Representation: Our attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in handling hit-and-run pedestrian accident cases. We will thoroughly investigate the incident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.
- Compassionate Support: We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you may be facing after a hit-and-run accident. Our team will provide compassionate support throughout the legal process, keeping you informed and addressing any concerns or questions you may have.
- Pursuit of Compensation: We will aggressively pursue all available avenues of compensation on your behalf. This may include filing insurance claims, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, taking your case to court to seek the maximum compensation possible.
- Medical Support: We can connect you with trusted medical professionals who specialize in treating accident-related injuries. Your well-being is our priority, and we will ensure you receive the necessary medical care and treatment to support your recovery.
- Thorough Legal Advocacy: Our attorneys will meticulously review the details of your case, analyze applicable laws and regulations, and develop a personalized legal strategy tailored to your specific situation. We will fight relentlessly for your rights and advocate for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Pacific Attorney Group. We offer a free consultation where we can assess your case, answer your questions, and provide guidance on the best course of action. Let us help you navigate the legal process and seek the justice and compensation you deserve.