In a hit and run accident, it is against the law for an at-fault driver to leave the accident scene. According to the California Vehicle Code (VEH) §20001, drivers involved in an accident must stop and report it to the police if the accident resulted in a person’s injury or death. Failure to report a serious accident may lead to fines of up to $10,000 and a year in jail.
Despite these punishments, hit-and-run drivers continue to exist. They often leave victims feeling vulnerable and at a loss for what to do. If you were injured in an accident, but the other driver left the scene before you could exchange information, you might still be able to get the compensation you need to cover your damages.
Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices invites people in the Los Angeles area to take advantage of our legal services. A Los Angeles hit-and-run accident lawyer from our firm may be able to help you fight for compensation.
You can talk with a representative at our firm by calling (888) 522-6291 today. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews to Los Angeles car accident victims.
Hit-and-Run Drivers Often Panic After an Accident
If you are a responsible driver, leaving an accident scene—especially if someone got injured or might be dead — might seem unheard of. So, why would someone leave an accident, knowing they could get into legal trouble if caught later on?
Some reasons why hit-and-run drivers leave the scene of an accident may include:
- They did not think anyone saw them cause the accident
- They are uninsured
- They panicked and decided to flee the scene
- They were in a rush to get somewhere else, such as to work
- They were driving with a suspended or revoked license
- They drive while intoxicated and wanted to avoid arrest
Hit-and-run drivers might leave for several other reasons. Still, leaving a victim to deal with the repercussions of an accident alone is both illegal and morally wrong. A car wreck attorney Los Angeles will fight to protect your rights and see that justice is done on your behalf.
Reporting Your Accident to the Police
If you did not report the accident when it occurred, you can still go to your local police station and file a report so that your accident has an official starting point in its paper trail. The crash report may be used as evidence for your case to establish that the at-fault driver left the accident scene and that you experienced damages.
The details you provide the police may help them identify the hit-and-run driver. Even details you might dismiss as unimportant might become a lead, so try to remember as much information as you can. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What did the car look like? Did you see the car’s make and model?
- What was the license plate number? Do you remember any numbers or letters it had?
- What time did the accident occur?
- Where did the accident occur? What was the street name or intersection?
- For the accident location, were there any residential homes or businesses nearby? Do you think they might have captured the accident on their security cameras?
- Did you notice any traffic cameras nearby?
- Did you see the driver or what they did before leaving the accident?
We understand that it can be difficult trying to determine what information is useful to remember and what is not. If you decide to work with Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices on your case, our team can guide you through this process.
Call (888) 522-6291 to speak with a representative of Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices about your hit-and-run accident. The first consultation is free.
You Might Be Able to Get Compensation Through Your Insurance Coverage
- Understanding Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: Your Los Angeles hit-and-run accident lawyer will inquire about your insurance policy and whether you have UM coverage. This type of coverage can come to your aid when the at-fault party is uninsured, which is often the case in hit-and-run incidents. By having UM coverage, you can rely on your own insurance policy to cover your losses.
- Utilizing UM Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents: Hit-and-run accidents pose a similar situation to accidents involving uninsured drivers, as there is no insured person to hold liable for the damages. In such cases, UM coverage becomes invaluable, allowing affected drivers to seek compensation for their losses.
- Mandatory Offer and Optional Purchase: According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), insurance companies are required to offer UM coverage to prospective policyholders in California. However, it is important to note that purchasing this coverage is not mandatory. Policyholders have the choice to opt for UM coverage or waive it by signing a waiver.
If You Find the Hit-and-Run Driver Later On
If the hit-and-run driver’s identity becomes known, you have options for seeking compensation. You can file an insurance claim with the insurer or pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. This allows you to seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage costs, lost income, and the physical and emotional pain you’ve endured.
It’s important to note that there is a deadline to file a lawsuit in California. Generally, for a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the accident to take legal action, as outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in your case not being heard.
Our Team May Be Able to Start Working on Your Case Today
When a driver flees the scene after causing an accident, it can leave the affected party feeling hopeless or frustrated. If you are struggling after this type of accident, you are not alone. A Los Angeles hit-and-run accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices may be able to help you figure out how to recover your losses.
Call us today at (888) 522-6291 to learn more about your options in a free case review with a member of our team.
- Hit-and-Run Laws in California
- What Usually Happens After A hit-and-run
- What Evidence is Needed to Convict a Hit-and-Run in California
- Hit-and-Run Investigation Process
- 360-degree look at Hit-and-Run Accidents: For Victims and At-fault parties