Taking a Team Approach to Serious Injury Cases
At AgnewBrusavich, our lawyers help clients who have been injured in all kinds of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents. It's easy to feel hopeless after being injured in a crash, and even more so if the driver who caused your accident drove away from the scene. Just because you can't access the at-fault driver's insurance, however, doesn't mean you're out of options when it comes to recovery. Our Torrance hit and run accident lawyers regularly assist clients in securing compensation under California's uninsured motorist laws. We have a deep understanding of our state's typical auto insurance policies and can walk you through the steps of accessing your policy's coverage so you no longer have to fret about paying out of pocket for expenses like hospital bills or physical therapy.
What to Do After a Hit & Run
In California, all drivers who are involved in motor vehicle accidents are required to stay at the scene of the accident to exchange contact information and ensure victims secure the medical attention they need in case of injury. When a driver leaves the scene of an accident without identifying themselves, they are guilty of a crime known as a hit and run.
There are different kinds of hit and run situations and reasons why a driver could feel compelled to flee the scene. For example, a drunk driver who sideswipes another vehicle on the road may be fearful of being arrested and cited for a DUI and drive away before the authorities arrive. Another common type of hit and run is when someone hits a parked car and drives away without leaving a note identifying themselves and their contact information.
Drivers who are eventually caught after committing a hit and run accident can be charged with penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Some possible consequences include:
- Fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail if there is no bodily injury
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 and up to four years in prison, depending on the extent of injuries and whether anyone was killed
It can be challenging to track down the driver who injured you, but if you're able to collect as much information as possible, you may be able to aid the authorities in locating them. If you've been a victim of a hit and run, it's first important to call for medical attention so your injuries can be tended to and the police can arrive and file a report.
If possible, try taking note of every detail involving the driver and their vehicle, such as:
- Car make, model, and color
- Any unique marks on the car, such as stickers or dents
- Driver's appearance, such as hair type and color, whether they were wearing a hat or glasses, etc.
- License plate number
Who Pays for My Damages?
It's common for drivers to worry about who will be paying for their damages after a hit and run, only to realize that they have uninsured motorist coverage. More than 85 percent of all California auto insurance policies already include uninsured motorist coverage, which helps to cover a person's damages when the at-fault driver lacks their own insurance policy. Because hit and run drivers are unable to be identified and have their policies accessed, victims can use their uninsured coverage after hit and run accidents.
This means that instead of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, you'd be filing a claim against your own insurance company. In a successful claim, you may be able to recover damages up to the established limits of your policy.
Why Would I Need an Attorney?
If you've been injured in a hit and run, it's natural to assume that your insurance company will look out for you and give you the compensation you need to cover property damages and other related expenses. However, it can be difficult to determine whether your policy covers your damages, and even if it does, insurance companies are known to delay or deny coverage to policyholders altogether.
In these cases, you need an attorney who has the experience and knowledge needed to assess your policy and get you the compensation you deserve. We can protect you from those who may be seeking to take advantage of you in your vulnerable state. If the driver who caused your injuries can't be found, call us for reliable service.
You deserve service from a small firm that has the time to give you personalized attention. Call our Torrance hit and run accident lawyers today at (310) 793-1400. We speak English and Spanish.