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Hit-and-Run Accidents: What to Do


Getting in a car accident is stressful enough. But hit-and-run accidents magnify the severity of the incident in a couple of major ways. First of all, the driver is fleeing from their responsibility. Second, they may be the only person nearby who is able to help the victim. If you have been the victim of one of these accidents, you may be experiencing the frustration and helplessness.

Under California State law, you must stop if you crash your vehicle into someone else. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are becoming increasingly common. Beyond the criminal ramifications, if you have been involved in a car accident and the other driver fled the scene of the crash, you may still be able to pursue compensation for your injuries. This is possible if you have a hit-and-run or uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance policy.

As personal injury lawyers, we have spoken with many clients over the years who have found themselves in this situation. We wanted to provide some thoughts on what you should and should not do if you have been the victim of a hit-and-run-accident. As overwhelming as the experience can be, how you react next can play an important role in protecting yourself physically and financially. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, here are some important details to consider before you leave the scene of the accident.


What is a Hit and Run?

A hit-and-run is a situation in which at least one person involved in a collision leaves without offering aid, sufficient information to the other driver or fails to report the accident to the authorities. This could be with a pedestrian, car or object.

In most states, California included, the act of leaving the scene, whether your at-fault or not, is against the law. And depending on the circumstances could be a misdemeanor or even a felony.

If the other driver cannot be identified, you will likely have to pay for expenses resulting from the crash. If you have full coverage auto insurance or uninsured motorist coverage, then the damages to you and your property may be covered by your policy.


Types of Hit-and-Run Scenarios

A hit-and-run accident happens any time a driver causes (or is involved in) an accident and leaves the scene. There are a few different ways this could occur:


What to Do in a Hit-and-Run

Like any collision, there are some basic steps you should take at the scene. It is in your best interest to document as much of the accident as possible so that you are better positioned to protect yourself, your passengers and your vehicle.

Here is what to do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run:


How to Report a Hit and Run

You will want to start by following the steps you would take after any other car accident.


Why Would a Driver Flee the Scene?

There are several possible explanations for why a driver may speed away from the scene of a crash they have caused or been involved in. For instance, they could be:

While these are possible explanations, they are not excuses. It is never acceptable to leave the scene of a crash.


Will My Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run?

If police can identify the offending party, their insurance company could help pay for the damages. But many hit-and-run drivers are never identified, which means their liability coverage is not an option.

In the event of a hit-and-run, chances are you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. Whether the accident is covered depends on the coverages in your policy. That is why it is best to make sure you have the protection you need.

While there is no such thing as “hit-and-run insurance,” there are car insurance coverages that can come in handy if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.


Should You Speak with an Attorney?

If you are involved in a in a hit-and-run crash, your first step should always be to call 911 and ask for medical attention. Once you have been properly taken care of, make sure you contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help attaining justice and compensation for your injuries.

Call us now at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.

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