Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys in California
Any car accident is frightening – even just a minor collision. When you or a passenger suffers injuries and the responsible driver flees the scene, you are the victims of a hit-and-run. Particularly in cases of serious injuries in a hit-and-run accident, it is advised that you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to manage your case and pursue the best possible outcome. A hit-and-run injury accident has several unique issues that must be resolved correctly, quickly, and professionally.
If you were in a car accident with a driver who left the scene, that driver might never be identified. Even if the driver is later found by law enforcement, some drivers in Santa Ana operate vehicles without insurance. Although such drivers will face legal repercussions, it may not resolve the issue of compensation, as drivers without auto insurance typically have few assets that can be accessed to pay damages.
You may have purchased some amount of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Hit-and-run accidents are treated as if it was an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your own auto insurance can be accessed when filing a claim. The Insurance Information Institute reports that as of the most recent year, 16.6% of the drivers in California are uninsured, and this type of insurance becomes extremely important after a hit-and-run injury accident.
If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run driver, even a minor accident can lead to expensive repairs. If you or one of your passengers were injured, the situation is typically more complex to resolve. The first step is to report the accident to law enforcement within 24 hours, to the DMV within ten days, and to your own auto insurance company.
The negotiations regarding your insurance settlement should be in the hands of a qualified attorney. It is a sad fact that insurance companies, as for-profit organizations, focus on paying out as little as possible. It is essential that you are protected from falling prey to various tactics that may be employed to convince you to take less than you deserve in an insurance settlement.
An insurance settlement or jury award will typically pay for several types of damages:
- Economic damages: The costs of medical care, transportation, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other hard costs.
- Non-economic damages: Payments for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of quality of life can be pursued.
A hit-and-run case must involve physical contact that can be proven. Evidence to support the fact that the accident was caused by a hit-and-run driver, such as broken auto parts on the roadway, a license plate number, or other evidence may be required from your auto insurance provider. "Phantom drivers," or drivers that cannot be proven to have hit your vehicle, are not covered by your UM insurance. Take pictures with your phone, if you are physically able, as evidence.
If the hit-and-run driver is identified, a civil claim can be filed to seek to recover damages or an insurance claim filed against their auto insurance. At HN Injury Lawyers, we offer a free consultation with no time limit, and we work on a contingency fee – no legal fees unless we win for you. Our legal team has over 50 years of combined experience, and we have tried over 100 jury trials. Your case will be in the hands of a true legal professional who has represented insurance companies, providing critical insight into how they operate.
Call HN Injury Lawyers today at (657) 333-5726 for a free case consultation after a hit-and-run injury accident.