San Bernardino Hit and Run Accident Attorney
Car crashes tend to happen so suddenly and unexpectedly that it may take you several moments to take stock of the situation and realize that the cause of the impact was another driver colliding with you. In that time, the negligent driver might decide to flee the scene before you have the chance to do anything, making you a victim of a hit and run.
At LA Century Law, our hit and run accident attorneys can be a source of support and guidance during the highly stressful time following your crash. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help you handle the aftermath of a hit and run accident in San Bernardino.
Why Do You Need a Hit and Run Accident Attorney?
Hit and run cases are rarely easy to settle, especially when there is little evidence to help in catching the at-fault driver. Hiring a hit and run accident lawyer removes much of the burden from your shoulders.
It is also important to keep in mind that hit and runs do not only entail car-on-car collisions. You should contact a hit and run accident attorney even if you were a victim of a collision as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Your lawyer can provide the following services to you after your accident:
- Investigate the circumstances of your crash and collect relevant evidence
- Collaborate with witnesses and law enforcement to track down the at-fault driver
- File a claim with the insurance company on your behalf and negotiate with them at every step of the process
- Represent you in court if necessary
The services of your legal team are valuable in collecting evidence that supports your case, some of which might be difficult to impossible to obtain on your own.
How Do You Report a Hit and Run?
After experiencing a hit and run, it is important to report the incident as soon as possible. The law states that you must report an accident within 24 hours, but you should do it within minutes if you are able. Waiting longer means losing whatever evidence might remain at the scene.
Contact the local police for a hit and run that results in minor damage, or report to the California Highway Patrol if there are injuries or death or if you suspect that the damage to your property exceeds $1,000 in value. You or your hit and run accident attorney must also report the crash to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.
After reporting the hit and run incident to the police, there are several other steps you should follow:
- Stay at the scene until law enforcement arrives
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Take photographs of the scene
- Start the claims process with your insurance company
Involving one of our San Bernardino car accident attorneys early on in the claims process ensures that you have legal support every step of the way.
Does a Hit and Run Case Require a Criminal Trial?
Leaving the scene of an accident after a collision is clearly a crime. Depending on the nature of that crime, though, the matter might either go to the civil courts or escalate to a criminal law matter.
Committing a hit and run is a breach of one’s civic duty because all citizens have the responsibility to assist and report when a crime occurs.
If the at-fault driver injures another person in a hit and run, the crime may be a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense or escalate to a class 4 felony offense if the injuries are severe. Ultimately, a negligent driver who injures another individual in a hit and run is subject to both civil and criminal penalties under California law.
Does Insurance Cover a Hit and Run?
All motorists who own a vehicle must maintain minimum liability auto insurance coverage. If the driver responsible for your accident has insurance, your hit and run accident attorney can file a claim with their insurance provider to compensate you for your damages.
However, the reason many hit-and-run offenders choose to flee the scene is that they do not have insurance. You can still pursue legal action against an uninsured driver, but you might not receive the full amount of compensation you deserve if they do not have sufficient assets.
If the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance, your own insurance provider can cover your damages if you have an uninsured motorist coverage policy. Keep in mind that your legal team can also assume a role in communicating with your insurance provider to ensure that uninsured motorist coverage provides a favorable amount of compensation.
What Damages Are Available for Hit and Run Victims?
Common causes of hit and run accidents include drunk driving, distracted driving, and driving without a license. These causes all demonstrate different types of negligence from the at-fault party. A hit and run accident attorney can prove that such negligence was at play and that the other driver breached their duty of care to you, strengthening your claim to these recoverable damages:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Your legal team can review medical records, invoices, and other documents to carefully evaluate the full worth of your damages so that you understand how much compensation you deserve from your accident claim.
Contact Our San Bernardino Hit and Run Accident Attorneys
Being the victim of a hit and run offense can leave you feeling uncertain about the future and whether you will get the justice you deserve. The personal injury legal team at LA Century Law can support you at every stage of your case and bring about a favorable resolution for your claim. Contact us today to learn more about what our hit and run accident attorneys in San Bernardino can do for you.