What To Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
An accident is classified as Hit and Run when a motor vehicle causes a traffic collision involving a human being, another car or property and the driver of the said vehicle fails to stop to offer assistance, leave contact information or report the occurrence of the accident to the police.
Statutes on Hit and Run accidents vary from one state to another, according to California Vehicle Code 20002 VC a Hit and Run accident the prosecution is challenged to prove beyond reasonable doubt the following factors:
- A traffic collision occurred when an individual was behind the wheel driving
- The collision resulted to property damage belonging to someone else
- You had knowledge of the said property damage or there was a high probability of property damage as result of the collision
- And finally an individual intentionally failed to follow the duties firmly imposed by California Vehicle Code 20002 VC on what to do after an auto accident.
The duties imposed by California Vehicle Code 20002 VC require you to:
- Stop the car immediately after a collision
- Give correct personal contact details to the other party or parties involved.
- In case of a collision where by the other party isn’t on the scene you are required to provide information such as the vehicle registration and driver’s license on request.
According to research and data analyzed NBC4I-Team on hit and run crash in California, statistical data shows that every 18 minutes a hit and run traffic collision occurs in Los Angeles County.
2015 accident reports by California Highway Patrol on hit and run, hit and run collision accounted for 50% of the total accidents that is an approximate of 28,000 reported hit and run incidents. The American Automobile Association reported that hit and run collision accounted for a national average of 11%.
Most hit and run collisions in involve damage by hitting a parked cars rather than physical injuries. The city council of Los Angeles is trying to curb incidences of hit and run by offering a $50,000 reward for information that will assist in catching and convicting hit and run drivers who cause a fatal hit and run. We offer great information on what to do if a police report is wrong.
10 Things To Do After a Hit and Run Accident
- Hit and run accidents are horrid situations but it’s important to try and keep your emotions contained so as to access the situation more clearly.
- Avoid suggesting or admitting any fault to the occurrence of the collision as any admission holds you legally responsible and you could face heavy penalties or lawsuits.
- Collect as much information as possible in regards to the scene of the accident. Information on location and time of the accident could help you catch the hit and run driver.
- Take photos and videos of the collision scene
- Take pictures and note down property damaged or injuries resulting from the collision.
- Find witnesses from the scene of the accident and correctly note down their contact details, that is, names, addresses and phone numbers.
- Report a hit and run accident to the police as soon as possible. Ensure the police report has extensive accounts on what happened during the collision and the extent of damages and injuries. This will help speed up your claim process.
- Inform your insurance provider on the occurrence of the collision and file your claim process as soon as possible.
- Seek medical assistance in cases involving human beings, for both minor and fatal injuries.
- Find legal representation by speaking to a hit and run attorney.
Hit And Run Accident Overview (common causes, etc.)
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol
- Self preservation- when the driver is scared, in the situation where the driver has status or secrets to protect
- Road rage or aggressive driving by youthful and immature drivers
- Unlicensed car or driver especially illegal immigrants
- Revoked or suspended licenses
- Uninsured vehicles
When Is It a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Hit and run is classified in two offenses in California, misdemeanor and felony.
You are likely to be charged and convicted with California misdemeanor offense in the case.
- Of fleeing an accident scene
- Failing to identify yourself and leave contact information to the other party or parties involved in the accident
- Damaging someone else’s property
Misdemeanor majorly focuses on property damage and a hit and run collision becomes a felony offense in the case the other party or parties get injured or die as a result of the hit and run collision.
Getting Compensation For a Hit and Run
After the investigation process the police may successfully trace the driver responsible for the hit and run collision and if the said driver is found to possess a valid insurance policy then you can pursue a personal injury claim for compensation as you normally would have with the insurance company.
In the case where a driver does not possess a valid insurance coverage, the compensation claim can be filed through Motor Insurers Bureau’s (MIB) Uninsured Driver Scheme.
In cases where efforts to trace the driver are futile, you have the alternative of approaching Motor Insurers Bureau to help with your claim for compensation. And of course you can contact the best car accident lawyers here at Avrek Law.
Common Injuries From Hit and Run Accident
Whiplash and Neck
Hit and Run Consequences/Charges
Hit and run is criminal offense that is punishable and these are the consequences for a hit and run accident in California:
For both misdemeanor and felony charges, a minimum fine of $1,000 dollars and a maximum fine of $10,000 dollars apply as well as the risk of being sentenced for both the penalty and jail time.
Hit and run resulting in property damage –
The consequences are a 6 month jail term, the minimum fine or both.
Hit and run causing injury –
A hit and run accident causing injury to another party can been sentenced as misdemeanor or felony depending on injuries sustained and prior criminal record. You can face up to a year jail term for a misdemeanor offence and a 3 year jail term with for felony offence.
Hit and run causing fatal injury or death –
The penalties are a minimum of 90 days jail term up to a year jail term for misdemeanor and a maximum of four years jail term for a felony.
Hit and run resulting to vehicular manslaughter –
The penalty is an additional, consecutive five year jail term.
Other additional consequences include:
Raised premiums or canceled coverage by your insurance provider.
You may get an addition of a minimum of two points on your driving record by the department of motor vehicle DMV. An addition of four points within a twelve month period could lead to the suspension of your driving license.
Settlement of claims Lawsuits by other party or parties involved in the hit and run accidents. Hit and run accident victims who sustained injuries, family of a victim in case of death or those whose property was damaged may decide to pursue legal channels and sue the hit and run driver.
Hiring a Lawyer After Hit and Run
It is important that you hire a lawyer after a hit and run accident so that they can represent you to ensure you get compensated. A lawyer will also ensure that you find the person who is liable for the accident. Feel free to contact our personal injury lawyers here at Avrek Law if you have been injured due to a hit and run car accident.
Leaving/Fleeing scene of accident
Leaving the scene of an accident without informing the police is a violation of the law and a criminal offence. It’s your legal duty as a motorist to stop immediately after an accident and provided your personal information to the parties involved.
Also if you are a hit and run accident victim, ensure you don’t leave the scene of the accident to purse the driver of the other car.
Hit and Run Against Motorcycle or Bicyclist
Often times motorcyclists and bicyclists observe safety precautions on the road but still end up getting involved in a hit and run as a result of careless motorists.
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