California hit and run

Handling a Hit and Run Case

Being involved in a car accident is inherently stressful, and in the worst-case scenario, life-altering and traumatic. However, when the responsible driver flees the scene, the situation becomes even more distressing due to the challenges in identifying the at-fault driver and holding them accountable for their negligence.

If you find yourself in such a situation, it is crucial to follow certain steps when dealing with a hit-and-run case. Prioritize safety above all else and reach out to a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles for guidance through the legal complexities.

Understanding Hit and Run Cases in California

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According to California Vehicle Code Sections 20001 and 20002, a driver involved in an accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage is required to stop their vehicle immediately at the scene of the accident or the nearest safe location.

Failure to comply with this legal obligation constitutes a misdemeanor offense and may result in penalties such as:

  • Imprisonment for up to one year in state prison or county jail.
  • Fines up to $10,000.
  • A combination of imprisonment and fines.

In cases involving serious injury or death, the penalties become more severe, including imprisonment for two to four years in state prison, 90 days to one year in county jail, or fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Additionally, fleeing the scene of an accident may lead to an additional punishment of five years of imprisonment in state prison upon conviction.

As sentencing varies depending on the case, it is important to consult a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles. Their insight on both the plaintiff and defense side is crucial in securing a just outcome for all parties involved.

Gathering Essential Information

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Immediately following the accident, prioritize the safety of the involved parties by calling 9-1-1 to receive any necessary medical attention. Once everyone is safe and unharmed, report the hit-and-run to the police to initiate an investigation to locate the at-fault driver.

We highly recommend collaborating with an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney at this time. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will help with law enforcement and insurance correspondence.

While collecting all of the necessary information in a hit and run may be challenging, document any details you can recall about the incident, such as:

  • Description of the driver.
  • Any part of the license plate number.
  • Vehicle make, model, and color.
  • Intersection where the accident occurred.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • Injuries sustained or property damage incurred.
  • Photographs of the scene or vehicle damage.
  • Any other information that could serve as evidence for insurance claims or legal proceedings

Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney

In California, you must file a personal injury or wrongful death claim within two years from the date of the accident, as stated by the statute of limitations. Failing to submit a claim by this deadline could result in forfeiting your right to pursue damages. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

The Law Office of John J. Perlstein can help you navigate the process and will advocate on your behalf for the monetary recourse you deserve. Working with an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney following an accident will help you get the most out of your claim.

With over 25 years of experience, John J. Perlstein is one of the best personal injury and wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles, securing fair and just outcomes. To set up a free consultation with one of the top Los Angeles personal injury law firms regarding your auto accident insurance claim, fill out our form online or give us a call at (213) 583-5786.

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