What You Need To Know About Hit and Run Accidents in California
More than six million people a year are involved in car accidents, with half of those accidents causing injuries. Hit and run accidents are becoming more and more common, and usually happen because a driver is under the influence, doesn’t have a license, or is uninsured. When cars flee the scene of the accident, it’s often still possible to collect compensation for victims, but it’s a complicated case. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced California hit and run accident attorney that knows exactly what to do to get you the highest amount of compensation possible for your hit and run accident case.
Hit and Run Is A Crime in California
To avoid being charged with the misdemeanor or felony that California calls Leaving The Scene Of An Accident, it’s important to understand California hit and run law. Here’s what constitutes the crime:
- Leaving the scene of an accident;
- Without properly identifying yourself and
- People were injured, or property was damaged, as a result.
It’s always better to stay until the police arrive, or at least provide identification, because the other party might claim injuries or property damage that wasn’t obvious to you.
What To Do After A Hit and Run Accident
- Call 911 immediately after the car leaves the scene, providing as much detail as possible about the vehicle and it’s driver:
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle;
- Identifying features such as dents and bumper stickers;
- License plate number (if you were able to get it);
- Driver’s appearance;
- How the accident happened.
While you’re waiting for the police, it’s a good idea to scour the scene for evidence such as paint from the car that hit you or a piece that might have fallen off. It’s also a good idea to see if anybody nearby witnessed the accident and get their name and phone number.
Insurance Coverage For Hit and Run Accidents
If the offender cannot be found or does not have insurance, you can file a claim against your insurance company under the uninsured motorist coverage that is mandatory in California. It will be a complicated process to prove that you meet the requirements for an uninsured motorist claim. These are the complications that can arise:
- Insurance company claims you did not report the accident to the police in a timely manner;
- Insurance company claims that there was insurance in effect because the hit and run driver’s insurance company did not properly cancel the policy;
- Even though the offending vehicle left the scene, the accident was your fault.
In order to ensure that you collect the compensation you’re entitled to for a hit and run accident, it’s important to hire a California attorney with experience handling hit and runs.
California Hit and Run Accident Attorney
Hit and run accidents can raise complicated issues and have tight deadlines for filing forms. That’s why it’s important to call an experienced California hit and run accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Please call today for a free consultation.