California has one of the highest rates of hit-and-run collisions, according to the National Highway Traﬃc Safety Administration (link). Pedestrians are among those at greatest risk for being seriously injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident. Especially in Central California where many pedestrians walk and bike around cities such as Bakersfield. Many hit and run oﬀenses cause minor personal and property damage. In the Central Valley, tragic or fatal hit-and-runs happen more often than not! As mentioned, pedestrians are at the greatest risk, but there are many diﬀerent types of hit-and-run victim accidents, such as:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Auto accidents
In California vehicle code, hit-and-run oﬀenses can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If the hit-and-run oﬀense caused damage to property, it can be charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the hit-and-run results in injury or death to another person, it will be charged as a felony. Hit-and-run collisions can cause severe damage or death, and it’s important to have a friend to help guide you during this tragic time.
When negligent drivers, such as, driving under the influence or those texting while driving, causes damage to you, your family, or your property…you need closure. Closure that only an experienced, educated, and compassionate lawyer can give you. Contact Donald Colvin to start your claim.
Understanding The Special Issues Associated With Hit And Run Accidents
A vehicle accident in which one driver leaves the scene without providing contact information to the other driver is called a hit and run. It is a serious crime classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony in California. All drivers need to follow the law, regardless of the severity of an accident if they are involved, even if they believe the accident is minor.
If the party who is not at fault for the accident leaves the scene without sharing their contact information with the other driver, they have committed a hit and run. Contact a hit and run accident attorney who can answer your questions and advise you about filing a claim.
What Should I Do After An Accident To Avoid Being Charged With A Hit And Run?
California drivers must get a police report for a car crash when the damage is more than $750 or there is an injury, even a minor one. Immediately after the accident, move your car out of the traffic flow if it is safe to do so and check to see if anyone is injured. Call 911 if anyone needs medical assistance and inform them about the accident so a police officer can be sent to the scene to a take a report.
Although the other driver has left the scene, you need to provide your name, address, phone number, vehicle registration, insurance information, and driver’s license to the police. If you are driving someone else’s car, you need to provide their name and address to the officer.
Try to recall the events of the accident to establish the type of vehicle, model, and color to share with law enforcement. Make notes about any unique marks on the car such as stickers on the back window or a broken headlight. Write down the other driver’s plate number along with a description of the events surrounding the crash.
If there are witnesses to the accident, get their name and contact information and additional details about the accident. Scan the area for anything left behind by the vehicle such as a hub cap or broken side mirror. Take pictures of your car and of the scene of the accident.
How Do I Collect Damages For The Damages To My Vehicle After A Hit And Run Accident?
Contact the insurance company after the accident to inform them about the incident. An insurance representative will take the information about what happened and process your claim.
If you are able to identify the driver who fled the scene after the accident, you may be able to file a claim against their liability insurance coverage. If they do not have adequate insurance coverage to cover you claim for injuries, you could make a claim with your insurance carrier through your uninsured/underinsured coverage for bodily injuries only. You cannot make a claim for uninsured/underinsured coverage of damages to your vehicle if you cannot identify who was driving the vehicle in the hit-and-run accident and you are responsible for paying your deductible.
Why Do I Need A Hit And Run Lawyer?
It is important to have a hit and run injuries lawyer in Bakersfield, California who can help you through the entire process when dealing with the insurance companies. If you were injured in the accident, the insurance company may try to rush you into accepting a settlement before you have completed your medical treatments. If the other driver is found, your lawyer can help you initiate a hit and run lawsuit to help you obtain compensation for your injuries, damages, and the loss of income, present and future.