Hit and run traffic accidents in the U.S. are on the rise according to a study released by The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It is important to know your rights as a driver, and what you can do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in California.
Being involved in a car accident in any capacity is stressful, but even more so when the at-fault driver flees the scene of the incident. You are left without important documentation, evidence, and testimony that can help you obtain compensation for injuries and subsequent medical treatments incurred due to the accident.
What Constitutes a Hit-and-Run Accident?
In California, a car accident is considered a hit-and-run when a driver leaves the scene of the accident without leaving identifying information after knowingly causing damage to a person or property. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal act under California Vehicle Code 20001 and can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on sustained injuries, fatalities, and damage to property.
What Steps Should You Take if Injured in a California Hit-and-Run?
- Your safety is always a top priority. If you or others are injured be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
- Contact the police. If the other driver leaves the scene there is still the possibility that police can apprehend them.
- Write down as much detailed information as possible about the incident, the driver, and the vehicle that left the scene.
- Talk to eyewitnesses. Collect names and contact information from people who witnessed the accident. They may have more details about the driver and the vehicle that left the scene.
- Collect as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of property damage and injuries and write down details about physical and emotional symptoms.
- Contact an experienced hit-and-run accident attorney who can help explain your rights, and advocate for your needs.
How We Can Help
Pursuing damages after a hit-and-run accident can present many challenges. Accidents happen quickly and when a driver leaves the scene there is not always time to take a photo of their license plate, or there may not be any witnesses around. Many times a case is built to ensure that you receive adequate compensation from the insurance company.
A law firm with experience in hit-and-run cases has the tools and resources to conduct investigations to collect evidence. Our firm can help locate video evidence from nearby businesses, dashcams, and security cameras, and build a compelling case on your behalf.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in California, our experienced team of San Francisco-based car accident attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson can help you build your case and reach a successful resolution. Contact our San Francisco offices today for a free consultation by filling out this online form or calling 888-831-8448.