Injured In A hit and run Accidents in California: What to Do

Have you been injured in a car accident while going on a family vacation or work catch-up? If the opponent party flees away right when you both collide, it’s a clear-cut “ hit and run accident case.” In California, it is a serious crime where the offender leaves the scene of an accident without identifying oneself. Also, the research from the Suzuki Law Offices reveals that over 10% of fatal crashes in California are hit and run incidents. 

From these statistics, it’s clear that hit and run accidents happen frequently in California. Many victims who suffer because of them are unsure about what steps they need to take to protect their legal rights. This guidance will discuss each aspect, from getting familiar with California hit and run penalties to hiring an experienced attorney.

California Penalties For A hit and run

Below are the penalties for hit and run cases in California:

  • Up to 3 years probation
  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines and fees
  • Restitution to the victim
  • 2 points on your driving record

These all are applicable when you are convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run, whereas, for the felony hit and run, the penalties might vary. Have a read on!

  • $1,000 to $10,000 fine
  • Up to 3 years in California state prison 
  • Mandatory restitution to the victims
NOTE: In case the victim is killed or suffered a severe injury, then it will be 4 years of state prison instead of 3.

How to Deal with California hit and run Accidents

When you have a hit and run accident, the first and most important thing to do is “Don’t Panic.” Move your vehicle out of the traffic to ensure there are no road jams issue. After this, follow these steps:

  1. Stay Calm and Check Yourself

Take a moment to assess your condition and check whether you had any serious injury or not. Staying calm is crucial for making clear decisions about your next steps.

  1. Call 911 Immediately 

Contact law enforcement and report the hit and run accident. Provide them with details about the incident and any information you have about the fleeing vehicle.

  1. File A Report

Even though the other driver is gone, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. They will create a police report crucial for any compensation claims.

  1. Go to the Doctor

No matter how minor the injury seems, seek medical attention right away. Documenting your injuries is crucial for your health and any potential legal claims.

  1. Share The Evidence 

Try to remember any details about the other car, like its color, make, model, or any partial license plate numbers. Look around for witnesses and get their contact information if possible. Take pictures of the damage to your car and the accident scene if you can do so safely.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Even without the other driver’s information, you might still be covered.  Call your insurance company and explain the situation.

  • Collision Coverage: If your vehicle insurance covers collision coverage, then you can repair it regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI): With this, pay for all medical expenses if you were injured in the hit and run.
  1. Hire an Attorney

After a hit and run accident, it can be hard to receive fair compensation for damages and injuries you have faced. Consider hiring a qualified attorney experienced in hit and run cases. An experienced hit and run accident lawyer can help protect your rights, navigate insurance claims, and pursue legal action if necessary. 

  1. Start An Investigation

Your hired lawyer can assist you in identifying the perpetrator of your accident and tracking him or her down.

Before hiring an experienced lawyer, below are some insurance coverages for California hit and run accidents. So, ensure the proper knowledge to understand the steps needed to pursue and effectively tackle the situation.

Is There Any Insurance Coverage For California hit and runs?

Dealing with a hit and run accident, especially regarding insurance coverage in California, can be particularly challenging. Knowing what types of insurance can cover you is important to save yourself financially. Below are the forms of insurance you can claim for;

S. No.                     FORM OF INSURANCE     CLAIM STATUS
1. Collision Coverage  Yes
2. MedPay Claim For Injury Yes
3. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage Yes
4. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Coverage Only when you know who hit you
5. Liability (the other driver’s policy) Only when you know who hit you

Let’s discuss in brief about these forms of insurance too. get much more familiar with these terms.

  1. Collision Coverage

This insurance coverage allows you to repair your vehicle regardless of who caused the accident. However, you may still need to pay your deductible before your insurance kicks in.

  1. MedPay (Medical Payments) Coverage

It is designed to help you with medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained in a hit and run accident, such as medical bills, ambulance fees, and other costs.

  1. Uninsured/Underinsured: Bodily Injury

If someone without insurance hurts you in a car accident, this insurance helps pay for your medical bills. It’s like a safety net for your health when the other person can’t pay for your injuries.

  1. Uninsured/Underinsured: Property Damage

This coverage protects individuals when their property is damaged by parties without insurance (uninsured) or insufficient coverage (underinsured). It ensures financial assistance for repairing or replacing damaged property up to the policy limits, filling gaps left by at-fault parties’ lack of adequate insurance. 

  1. Liability Coverage

Liability insurance takes care of the other person’s car damages and medical bills if you are at fault in an accident. It’s a crucial protection that helps you handle the costs of unintended damages caused while driving.

If you are facing difficulties in getting the fair compensation you deserve, it’s time to contact an experienced hit and run accident lawyer. Begin your search by exploring the Law Firm Directory, such as Accident Defenders, for a selection of skilled attorneys specializing in hit and run cases.

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