Tarzana Hit and Run Accident Attorney
Following a traffic accident, it’s a requirement by California law that the drivers involved stop and stay at the scene of the accident until authorities arrive. Where the accident caused injury or death, it must be reported to the police.
Unfortunately, in some cases, drivers choose to flee the scene of an accident. Depending on the severity of the crime, penalties for a hit and run can range from fines and suspension of driving privileges to jail time.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit and run accident, remember that there are laws in place to protect victims’ right to compensation and that you need to seek legal advice.
An experienced Tarzana hit and run accident lawyer at LA Century Law can help you understand your rights, assess the evidence and determine the best course of action to take. We can help fight for your rights and seek justice based on the applicable hit and run laws in California.
Why Do Drivers Flee the Scene of an Accident?
Under California Vehicle Code Section 20001, drivers are required to stop and stay at the scene of an accident when someone is injured or killed. There are also required to provide a copy of their identification card and proof of insurance. There can be several reasons why a driver chooses to flee instead of staying:
They have alcohol or drugs in their system
The driver may not be in the right frame of mind to make a responsible decision. They could also be trying to avoid a DUI conviction.
They don’t have a valid driver’s license
In some cases, drivers may not have a valid driver’s license, and this could put them in a difficult situation. Rather than face any legal repercussions, they choose to flee the scene of an accident.
They have no auto insurance
In some cases, the driver may not have any insurance and be afraid of having to pay for any damages. It could be because because their insurance lapsed or they did not have any. This could lead them to flee the scene in order to avoid any legal consequences. Further, in California drivers are required by law to maintain insurance on their vehicle. The minimal insurance policy in California is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per incident.
About Hit and Run Investigations
When a hit and run accident occurs, the police will launch an investigation to find the at-fault driver. They will look into any available evidence, such as video footage, witness testimonies, and other factors that may help them identify the driver. The police may also be able to trace the license plate number of the vehicle involved in the accident.
Once enough evidence has been collected, law enforcement can issue an arrest warrant for the suspect or suspects responsible for fleeing the accident scene.
How Do You Get Compensation for a Hit and Run?
When the at-fault party flees the scene, it’s easy to feel helpless. You may be wondering how you can get compensation for medical bills, damage to property, and other expenses. Fortunately, there are several ways to seek legal recourse after a hit and run accident.
Claims with your insurance
Most insurance policies offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Based on the details of your insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim with your insurer and receive compensation for any damages. If the at fault driver cannot be found, you may be able to use your own uninsured motorist coverage to cover the costs of the accident if you have it.
We highly encourage all individuals who own and operate in a vehicle in California to call their insurance company and assure their policy contains underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. If you do not have this policy, it is possible you will not be able to recover for your injuries.
If the ensuing investigation finds the hit and run driver, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. An experienced Tarzana hit and run accident attorney can help you understand your rights and pursue legal action. We have many resources to locate an individual who has fled the scene of the crash, including private investigators that will go to the location of the crash, to locate camera footage or witnesses to find the individual that fled the scene.
Damages Available for Hit and Run Victims
California law allows victims of hit and run accidents to recover compensation for a variety of damages that they have suffered. Some of these damages include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages due to the accident
- Property damage repairs
- Pain and suffering
How much in a settlement can I get for a hit and run accident?
The amount of compensation you can receive will depend on the details of your case. The first determination is whether the driver who fled the scene had insurance. In certain situations, punitive damages (damages to punish wrongful conduct) may be available. Your hit and run accident attorney will be able to evaluate the damages you have suffered and advise you on an appropriate course of action.
It’s important to know that California has a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to seek compensation for your damages. That’s why it’s important to contact a lawyer for hit and run victims as soon as possible after a crash occurs, so that your rights can be protected and your case can move forward in a timely manner.
Get the Help You Need Today!
A hit and run accident can be a devastating experience. It’s important to know that you have rights and there are options available to you for seeking compensation.
An experienced hit and run accident attorney in Tarzana from LA Century Law can help you understand the legal process, protect your rights, and pursue justice for any damages suffered due to the accident. If you or someone you know has been involved in a hit and run accident, contact us and schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help.