When you have been the victim of a hit and run, you have a lot to take care of after the accident. This can include working with multiple insurance companies, finding a way to pay for your medical bills, taking your car in for collision repair, and finding a way to keep going despite the physical and mental suffering you may be feeling. Out of all these things, seeking medical attention is one of your highest priorities. It's often harder to seek medical attention when your accident was the result of a hit-and-run collision. You are left paying the bills while the person whose fault it is has not taken responsibility for their actions. If you are worried about paying medical bills or getting treatment, our California personal injury lawyers will help. We can find a doctor for you even if you don't have medical insurance. There are different ways to receive compensation for your hit-and-run claim. If either you or the police can identify the driver of the other vehicle, you can file a claim with that driver's car insurance company to receive compensation. If it does not cover the cost of all your injuries, you can sue the driver for the amount that is left over.
For a free evaluation of your hit-and-run case in California, call 1-800-208-3538 today!
Laws for Hit and Run Accidents in California
In California, a hit and run offense is taken seriously. Legally, anytime you are in an auto collision you must pull over in a safe location, provide information or render aid if necessary. Anytime someone simply leaves without following these steps, it is considered a hit-and-run crime. When it comes to accidents where people suffer physical injuries, drivers are required by law to do what they can to help the injured person, including calling emergency medical services and police. However, if an injured person is not able to move, you should not try to move them as it could aggravate their physical injury or cause other physical injuries.
In the case of a car colliding with an unattended vehicle or another object such as a post, building, or mailbox, California requires that the driver of the car do what he or she can to find the owner and inform them of the accident. A couple of ways to achieve this is by either writing down the car's license number for a parked car or leaving information on a piece of paper for other damaged property.
Victims of a hit-and-run collision may sometimes recover punitive damage when they pursue a civil injury lawsuit. A person can collect punitive damage when the defendant (the one who caused the accident) has done something to cause harm to the plaintiff (the one who is suing) whether the damage was intentional or not. Damage can be in the form of medical fees, physical or mental injury or harm, lost wages, etc. Punitive damages must be commensurate with the amount of harm caused and not reflective of how the defendant behaves. The purpose of punitive damages is to provide sufficient punishment to fit the crime and prevent such behavior in others in the future. The damages are calculated using these two measures: a defendant's lack of moral uprightness and how much of a payment would justifiably punish the defendant. In layman's terms, the punitive damage is based on the size of the defendant's economic position. A person who commits a hit-and-run offense is always considered lacking in moral uprightness, because even in a collision that was unintentional, fleeing from the scene of an accident is intentional.
What to Do if You Are the Victim of a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, here is what you should do:
- Write everything down: Try to remember as many details as you can and gather the rest. Describe the vehicle and its make, model, color, and license plate. Write down and where the accident occurred including weather, lighting, traffic, and any other information you can recall that would help build your
- Search for witnesses: Find out the name and contact details for any witnesses to the accident. Their testimony could be very valuable in verifying your story during a
- Take pictures: If you have a camera handy, take pictures of the accident scene and the runaway vehicle if
What If I Can't Find the Driver?
If the driver was uninsured, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, provided that you have uninsured motorist insurance. If you have any questions regarding your right to use your uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your injuries, you can call our lawyers to find out what is legally owed to you.
Let Our Experienced California Accident Lawyers Help You Get What You Deserve for Your Hit and Run Injuries
Insurance companies employ adjusters whose job it is to save them money. That's why you need someone on your side who knows how to help you recover all the punitive damages owed to you in a hit and run case. You need an experienced professional at your side. Our team of California car accident attorneys have recovered over $98.4 million for our clients in the last several years. Call Johnson Attorneys Group today at 1-800-208-3538 for a free evaluation of your case.