Hit and Run Accidents
Los Angeles is notorious for hit and run accidents. There were about 20,000 hit and runs in 2012, for example, and 48 percent of motor vehicle collisions in the region are hit and runs, compared with the national average of 11 percent. In California, drivers involved in accidents are required to stop, locate the owner of a damaged vehicle, and provide their insurance, name, and address. A driver must also stop and help anyone injured in a motor vehicle collision, irrespective of fault. Residents of Los Angeles who have been harmed in car accidents can consult the attorneys at Sharifi Firm for representation in their effort to recover damages.Seeking Damages after Hit and Run Accidents
Under California Vehicle Code 20001, a driver involved in an accident causing injury or death to someone else must stop his or her car at the scene. In addition to exchanging information with the other driver or pedestrian, drivers involved in an injury-causing accident must give the same information to the police and do what they can to help the injured person. Some hit and run victims tragically die because they are left without help from the at-fault driver.
Drivers flee the scene for a variety of reasons, including lack of insurance or drunk driving. Sometimes they flee because they know they caused an injury and panic about the potential adverse consequences. If law enforcement is able to track down an at-fault driver, it is often easier to hold that person accountable for injuries arising out of a hit and run. Usually, a driver who fled the scene of an injury- or death-causing accident is charged with a crime. The charges and materials from the criminal investigation can make it easier to recover compensation from the driver's insurer, assuming he or she is insured.
In a civil suit against a hit and run driver, you will need to prove the other driver's duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. In addition to compensatory damages, you can potentially also recover punitive damages from a driver in a hit and run accident who was drunk driving. Punitive damages may be awarded both as a deterrent and a punishment for callous or especially egregious conduct.
If the authorities cannot identify and locate the other party, it may be more difficult to recover compensation at all. Those with uninsured motorist coverage can submit a claim to their own insurance company to seek damages such as medical expenses, loss of income, accidental death, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. However, you must remember that in an uninsured motorist claim, your insurer is not always your ally. They are usually focused on their bottom line, not on what may be best for you. It is usually wise to retain an experienced attorney to make sure you are adequately compensated for any injuries.Consult an Aggressive Riverside Attorney for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case
If you are hurt in a motor vehicle collision in Riverside or the nearby area, the lawyers at Sharifi Firm can bring a lawsuit to recover the damages to which you may be entitled or represent you in negotiations with the insurer for your uninsured motorist policy. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent clients in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and San Bernardino, among other communities throughout Southern California.