Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents in California

Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents in California

Hit-and-run motorcycle accidents in California can result in criminal charges. However, criminal charges are inadequate to fairly compensate you for the harm that has occurred.

Today, LA Century Law discusses motorcycle hit and runs in California. Here’s what you need to know and how our San Bernardino motorcycle accident attorneys can help.

Motorcycle Hit and Run Accidents in California

All drivers – including passenger vehicle drivers and motorcyclists – must stop their vehicle when they are in an accident. This requirement allows victims to receive prompt medical care. It also allows the parties to determine liability for the accident and exchange information to allow the processing of claims.

What is considered a hit and run?

A hit and run motorcycle accident occurs when a driver fails to stop at the scene and fulfill the requirements to provide information.

If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you may receive compensation. If the driver can be found, you may seek compensation through insurance or from them directly.

Your claim may include compensation for harm that results because they fled the scene. You may pursue compensation from your own uninsured policy if the driver cannot be found.

Why do Drivers Flee the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident?

Some reasons drivers may flee the scene of a motorcycle accident are:

  • A lack of regard for motorcyclists and their rights
  • Drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • No driver’s license
  • No motor vehicle insurance
  • Concerns about immigration consequences
  • Worried about what family members or friends might think
  • Wanting to avoid traffic tickets or criminal charges relating to their actions
  • Not wanting to take the time to stop

There are many reasons why drivers choose to do the wrong thing and flee from a motorcycle accident. At LA Century Law, we represent motorcycle accident hit and run victims in compensation claims.

What to Do After Becoming the Victim of a Motorcycle Hit and Run

If you are the victim of a motorcycle hit and run, contact law enforcement right away. The sooner they can start working on your case, the greater the chance that the offender can be found.

Contact an attorney right away to protect your rights. Take photographs of the accident scene.

Save any evidence, like torn clothes and damaged property. Seek medical attention right away.

Do hit and run laws apply to accidents involving motorcycles in California?

California hit and run laws apply to accidents involving motorcycles. Hit and run laws apply to all vehicles.

California Vehicle Code § 670 defines a vehicle as any device that moves or propels people or property on a highway. The only exceptions are trains and devices moved only by human power, like bicycles. All vehicle drivers involved in a motorcycle accident must comply with hit and run laws.

There are two hit and run laws that apply to motorcycle accidents in California – one is a misdemeanor, and the other is a felony.

Property damage hit and run – Cal Veh. Code § 20002

  • The driver of a vehicle
  • In an accident
  • With property damage only (no personal injury)
  • Must stop at the scene
  • Locate and notify the owner
  • Present their driver’s license and vehicle registration, including their current address

Failing to do these things is a misdemeanor hit and run, in violation of Cal. Veh. Code § 20002. A violation is punishable by up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

The driver must stop at the nearest safe location that doesn’t obstruct traffic. If the property owner isn’t with the damaged vehicle or property, the driver may leave their information in a conspicuous place with a statement of circumstances and call the police.

Bodily injury hit and run – Cal Veh. Code § 20001

  • The driver of a vehicle
  • In an accident
  • Causing injury to a person, other than themselves, or death
  • Must stop at the scene

Failing to do these things is punishable by one year in jail, a fine of $1,000-$10,000 or both. If the accident results in permanent or serious injury, a violation is punishable by 2-4 years in prison or 90 days to 1 year in jail, a fine of $1,000-$10,000, or both. For good reasons stated on the record, the court may eliminate minimum jail times or fines.

Cal. Veh. Code § 20001 and § 20002 apply to motorcycle hit and runs.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Hit and Run If the Driver is Found

If a motorcycle hit and run driver can be found, you may pursue compensation. Both their insurance and their assets may provide compensation. Your claim for compensation doesn’t depend on whether criminal charges are filed or the outcome of the criminal case. You may claim damages as allowed by California law.

What if the driver isn’t found?

If the driver isn’t found, you may pursue compensation through your uninsured motorist policy.

The fleeing driver may or may not have insurance. If they’re not located, we don’t know.

California uninsured motorist insurance covers a hit and run motorcycle accident. If you have this insurance, it may provide compensation.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer If the Other Driver Left the Scene

Talk to a lawyer for hit and run motorcycle accidents in California. Contact LA Century Law today by phone or submit our online form.

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