In any vehicle accident, it’s wise to stop and see if anyone has sustained serious property damage or bodily injuries. There are also strict laws in California about when you must stop at the scene and report an accident to the police.
Unfortunately, far too many people in Beverly Hills deal with the consequences of someone striking their car and then fleeing the scene. Whether the person never stopped, to begin with, refused to share their information with you, or stopped but left before they could be identified, this is a harrowing experience for the victim.
California hit-and-run laws may lead to criminal consequences against that party, but this also raises many questions for you about recovering compensation in a personal injury claim. Retaining a car accident lawyer in Beverly Hills is one of the most important things you can do to protect your rights after a hit-and-run. Reach out to One Law Group for an initial consultation about your hit-and-run claim.
Why Do Drivers Flee the Scene?
People flee the scene of an accident for a variety of reasons. Drivers should stop and exchange information, but some don’t stay at the scene long enough to do this. This can be shocking to experience since it will influence your ability to recover compensation.
Some of the most common reasons for someone to leave the scene of an accident include the following:
- A pending immigration issue
- A warrant out for their arrest
- Expired tags/license/registration/plates
- No insurance
- A stolen car
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fear of being blamed for the accident
Regardless of their reasons why it is not appropriate to leave the scene of the accident. If the driver’s identity is found, they could be liable for your injuries and damages, but they may also face criminal consequences.
How Do You Get Compensation for a Hit-and-Run?
When you’re struck by someone else, and that person leaves the scene of the accident, you may need additional assistance getting compensation after a hit-and-run.
There are options available to you in California. The first of which is to try to identify the other driver. Maybe eyewitnesses caught details about their vehicle or appearance that can be used to identify them. Nearby video cameras may also be able to capture them leaving the scene of the accident.
Your next step to pursue compensation in a hit-and-run accident is to file a claim through your insurance company. If you have maintained uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance carrier may be obligated to pay part or all of your damages.
Also, review the collision coverage specifics on your policy to identify whether any of these costs may be covered. If you had a MedPay add-on with your insurance company, this may cover a portion or the entirety of your medical treatment.
Other factors may also have contributed to your accident, so hiring a hit-and-run accident lawyer can help you identify other defendants, such as a private business, city or county government, or manufacturer of a defective part.
Getting fair compensation in a hit-and-run accident can be very difficult, even with the right insurance coverage. The insurance company may be less likely to negotiate in good faith when there is no other driver or insurance company named. Finding the right lawyer to help you navigate this process is strongly recommended.
How Are Hit-and-Run Investigations Conducted?
The police should always be called to the scene of a hit-and-run accident, even if you are unsure of your property damage and injuries at that point. The hit-and-run investigation process begins when a police officer or trooper comes on the scene. Their role is to gather facts. This includes evidence such as victim statements, witness statements, photographs of the scene, or video footage of the scene.
Eyewitnesses can be instrumental in a hit-and-run investigation process, especially if you were stuck in your vehicle or knocked unconscious during that time. In many cases, witnesses can provide enough substantial detail to give law enforcement a place to start.
Look for any traffic cameras or security cameras in the area, as these may have recorded the hit-and-run accident and could be used to help track down the at-fault driver.
Consider consulting with a knowledgeable hit-and-run accident lawyer. Trying to pursue your claim and compensation on your own can be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with serious injuries. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you pursue compensation.
What damages can you be owed as a hit-and-run victim?
There are no caps on the damages you can claim after a hit-and-run accident in California. You may be eligible to recover compensation for wrongful death, disfigurement, medical bills, lost income, car repairs, emotional pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. These bills may total in the thousands or hundreds of thousands for a major accident.
Keep track of all documents and bills to get a reasonable estimate of your possible damages total when you meet with your hit-and-run accident lawyer. Both your current bills and projected future expenses may be named in your lawsuit.
What happens if the at-fault party is found?
If the police are able to find the at-fault driver, they can also press criminal charges. These criminal charges are separate from your civil suit. It is still wise to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
How We Help as Your Beverly Hills Hit-and-Run Lawyer
With years of experience taking cases to court and settling them, we approach each claim with a victim-first mentality. There’s a great deal of stress facing many hit-and-run victims, and we do everything we can to minimize that stress.
We’ll handle most aspects of your injury claim so you can direct your attention to your recovery. That includes us taking over things like:
- Accident scene investigation
- Communication with the insurance companies
- Gathering and organizing bills and evidence
- Keeping you informed about each phase of your case
You’ll know you’re in good hands with a team that brings a solid track record of taking on complex accident cases in California. At One Law Group, we are ready to take your hit-and-run case. Contact an attorney at our Beverly Hills firm now.