Any type of auto accident is stressful, but a hit and run is particularly so. If the other driver flees the scene of your crash, you are left wondering whether you can recover your losses. Can a Southern California hit and run lawyer help you get the compensation owed to you?
Even without knowing the identity of the person who hit you, you can likely recover damages after your Los Angeles area hit and run accident. We offer some tips and insights about these types of car crashes, below.
To start, the best thing you can do after this type of accident is to contact a hit and run lawyer at Kesh Law. Your skilled auto accident attorney can provide individualized details of your legal options. They can also help you start the legal processes necessary to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call the hit and run attorneys of Kesh Law today at (818)639-3955 or by completing our easy online form.
Protecting Yourself after Your Hit and Run Accident
When your hit and run accident occurs, you need to take some immediate steps to protect your rights and ensure you can recover monetary compensation. These steps include:
1. Pull over and park your vehicle to await the arrival of police.
2. Call the police regardless of whether the accident is a minor-damage fender-bender or a vehicle-totaling wreck. You will need a police report for your insurance claims process. You also never know the full extent of the damage until later. Some vehicle damage and injuries like whiplash are not immediately detectable.
3. Gather as much evidence and information at the accident scene, as possible. Use your smartphone to take photos of the accident scene and damage. Take notes about how the accident occurred, as well the location, time and involved parties’ license plate numbers.
4. Locate witnesses on the scene and write down their contact information.
5. Immediately contact a hit and run lawyer in Southern California. The insurance companies use a variety of tactics to pay hit and run victims less than they deserve, so you need a skilled lawyer’s help.
Many Insurance Policies Cover Hit and Run Accidents
Although most hit and run drivers are never identified, you can still recover compensation for your losses. The first place to seek this monetary recovery is from your own insurance policy. It may provide coverage for medical expenses and auto repairs or replacement. If you are unsure of how to access this coverage, you only need to seek a hit and run lawyer’s help. A skilled auto accident attorney makes the process much easier and less stressful.
You can find details of hit and run accident coverage in your own insurance policy under several categories. These include:
- Collision coverage – Collision coverage helps you repair or replace your vehicle after your hit and run, usually with a deductible.
- MedPay insurance – MedPay insurance under some policies provides compensation for medical costs after a motor vehicle accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured insurance – Uninsured/underinsured coverage is typically offered when you start a new insurance policy, whether you choose to purchase it or opt out. This coverage protects you when you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or one who has insufficient coverage. In the case of a hit and run accident, your uninsured/underinsured coverage may provide compensation for bodily injury losses.
Not all policies automatically include these types of coverage. But if you have them, they will cover many of your costs. Your hit and run lawyer will help you understand your insurance coverage and how you can cover your accident damages.
Holding the Hit and Run Driver Accountable for Your Damages
If police locate the driver from your Southern California hit and run accident, you can hold them accountable for your costs. But running away from the scene of the accident often makes these drivers impossible to locate. You can try to make this process easier by remembering to get their vehicle’s license plate number. You can also ask witnesses if they were able to capture the license plate digits before the vehicle took off.
After a hit and run, the police may ask you to describe the driver and their vehicle. Law enforcement officers in the area can use this information to locate them. But finding them is no guarantee that they are at fault for the crash. Your hit and run lawyer will work to prove their fault by gathering evidence and investigating your accident using methods like:
- Interviewing accident witnesses
- Obtaining the police report
- Visiting the accident scene
If the fleeing driver is identified, your hit and run lawyer works hard to recover compensation for your vehicle damage, medical costs and other accident losses.
Fleeing an Accident Scene Is a Punishable Crime
Drivers who flee the scene of their auto accident are often charged with this crime under California state law. Their case may involve misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on whether anyone suffered injuries in the collision.
Other penalties hit and run drivers face include:
- Fines up to $10,000
- Up to four years in prison
- Restitution owed to the accident victims
To learn more about these criminal penalties that may be filed against the other driver after your motor vehicle accident, contact your hit and run lawyer.
Discuss Your Case with a Southern California Hit and Run Lawyer Now
If you were recently in an auto accident and the other driver left the scene, it is important to talk to a hit and run lawyer. Your lawyer will explain how you may be able to receive compensation for your vehicle damage, medical costs and other expenses when the offending driver cannot be identified. Never just assume you must take on the burden of these costs out of your own pocket.
The experienced hit and run lawyers of Kesh Law can help you understand your rights and options for compensation after this type of accident. Call us today at (818) 639-3955 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation about your auto accident claim.