A hit-and-run accident – when a driver who caused an accident flees the scene – can leave victims in a challenging legal position. It can also be incredibly frustrating for victims to not be able to identify the person who caused them harm. Sadly, hit-and-run accidents are on the rise in California and across the country.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a hit-and-run accident occurs approximately every 43 seconds in the U.S. The most current statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show more than 737,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred in just one year. Of those crashes, more than 2,000 tragic deaths were reported – the highest number of fatalities ever reported for hit-and-run accidents.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, we understand how frustrating it can be to not know who caused the crash. We also understand how difficult it may be to know how to proceed. Here at Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we have a dedicated legal team with years of experience handling challenging hit-and-run accident cases. Contact our office today to get in touch with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Why Would a Driver Flee the Scene of an Accident?
It may seem unthinkable to flee the scene of an accident after hitting another driver or pedestrian, but in most cases, the act of fleeing is almost always intentional. Although there are rare situations where a driver does not realize he or she struck someone or an object, in most cases, a driver is fleeing because they don’t want to be caught.
Some of the most common reasons a driver may leave the accident scene are:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Driving without a license or revoked license
- Driving while texting or on a call
- Driving without car insurance
- Driving with stolen or illegal items in the car
No matter what the situation may be in a hit-and-run accident, a victim still suffers physically and financially when a driver takes off after hitting a vehicle, he or she was in. Although hit-and-run accident cases can be challenging to litigate, it may be possible to recover compensation for the damages associated with a serious injury.
Here’s what you can do to increase your chances of securing financial help for injury expenses…
Although it may be tempting to want to go after the driver who hit you, do not leave the scene of the accident. It is a criminal offense to leave the scene of an accident resulting in property damage, personal injury, or death according to California Vehicle Code Section 20002 and 20001. Even if you are the victim of the accident, it is against the law to leave the crash scene.
Once you have ensured all parties involved are ok and have received medical attention (if necessary), call the police to report the accident. Provide as much information as you can to authorities and if you believe you may have sustained an injury, don’t turn away medical help.
We know it can be hard to stay calm after an accident, especially if you’ve been injured. Do your best to remain calm and take a moment to gather your thoughts. If you’re able to stand up and walk, we recommend jotting down as much information as you can remember.
Do you recall the driver’s license plate number or maybe you remember the model of the car driven? Do you remember what way the driver took off or what the driver was wearing? Write down anything you remember about the driver, the vehicle he or she was driving, and any other information related to the accident.
If a third party was involved, share your name, number, address, and insurance provider information. It’s also important you get the third party’s contract and insurance information too. Get a copy of the police report or at the very least, get the report number so you can get a copy at a later time.
If there were eyewitnesses, talk to them and make a note of what they saw or how the crash happened. If you notice any cameras in the area, take pictures of where they are located. Take pictures of the damage sustained by your car and the accident scene.
In some cases, it may be possible to track down the at-fault driver. Every state has a different reporting system for hit-and-run accidents, so it’s hard to know exactly how many cases are solved (e.g., How many drivers are eventually identified). However, rough data from accident statistics across the country show in many cases, the at-fault driver is never found or identified.
How Can I Get Compensation if the At-Fault Driver Can’t be found?
If the responsible driver isn’t found, how is it possible to get compensation for injury expenses? In cases where the driver is never identified, you can look to your own insurance provider for compensation (if you have uninsured motorist coverage).
Keep in mind, the amount of compensation you receive from your insurance company is often capped by your policy limits. In other words, the amount of compensation you get from the insurance company may not equal the total amount of your damages.
In some cases, you may be able to get compensation from a third party. For example, your injury was made worse by a faulty airbag, or you were driving a company vehicle when the accident occurred. As you can see, there may be more than one avenue of compensation, and the lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot LLP will explore every possible avenue to make sure you get enough compensation to move forward.
Our goal is to get you the highest settlement amount possible. We have a proven track record of successful case outcomes and have helped our clients secure millions for injury expenses. Our case results include a $3 million dollar motor vehicle accident settlement and a $9 million-dollar wrongful death settlement.
Have you been injured in a hit-and-run accident? Don’t suffer any more than you already have. Our caring team of lawyers knows you may be under a lot of stress, which is why we want to make the legal process as seamless as possible.
Working together with our extensive network of legal experts, we can accurately evaluate the extent of your injury damages. In doing so, we’ll make sure you get the most money for:
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Physical pain
- Lost income from not being able to work
- Personal care costs
- Emotional anguish
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Wrongful death
Let us help you, today!
There’s no need to suffer anymore. Reach our legal team by giving us a call or by submitting a contact form right now. We’ll schedule a time for you to discuss your case in private. There’s no fee for the initial consultation.
Adamson Ahdoot LLP is here to provide you with expert legal counsel, so you can focus on recovery for you and your family during a stressful and difficult time.