Car accidents aren't always so plain and simple. Unfortunately, all too many auto accidents are made more complex because one of the individuals leaves the scene. When a driver does this without purposefully leaving behind information, it is called a hit and run accident. Don't worry if you find yourself in an accident like this, though; hiring a lawyer can help you seek compensation for your damages.
California Law Requires You Stop After an Accident
As in any other state, California drivers are required to pull over to the side of the road and follow procedure for obtaining driver information. This is the case whether you caused damage to property (like a vehicle or a mailbox) or a person (like a pedestrian or bicyclist). You are required to stop as soon as it is safe to do so. If somebody continues to drive on, they are breaking the law. This is even the case if the vehicle hit is unaccompanied.
What If The Other Driver Runs?
While there are criminal penalties, even prison time, in place for drivers who run, these only work if they can be identified. Many drivers have dashcams that capture the driver's license plate, make, and model. Even a cell phone picture can aid the identification process.
You are probably more interested in the potential civil penalties. If you have the identity of the other driver, you can take them to court. You can sue to cover the costs of medical bills, wages lost, and damage to property.
How Can a Lawyer Help You If You've Been Hit & Run?
- A lawyer can prove that the other driver was liable for the accident before running.
- A lawyer can demonstrate that you were injured or deserve compensation based on the accident.
- Lawyers are familiar with court communications and meeting deadlines.
- Your lawyer can prevent the insurance company from coming after you.
- Lawyers understand the significance of a fair settlement, and can easily calculate a manageable amount.
Without a lawyer you are on your own when it comes to getting your case to trial. The process of identifying and fighting a hit and runner driver in court can be difficult without solid legal counsel.
Do you have questions about your hit and run case? We may be able to help. Contact us and let us know how we can be of service.