Los Angeles Hit and Run Accident Attorney
Nobody should ever have to go through the devastating experience of being injured in a collision caused by a hit-and-run driver. Many different parties can sustain severe and deadly injuries in hit-and-run accidents, including motor vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you or someone you love got hurt because of a hit-and-run driver’s careless or reckless behavior behind the wheel, an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can assist you with your case. We can discuss your options with you for seeking compensation, from an auto insurance claim to a civil lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver.
Getting the Facts About Hit-and-Run Collisions in Los Angeles
Hit-and-run accidents have been on the rise recently, and they often result in severe and life-threatening injuries. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that hit-and-run injuries and deaths have been at their highest in recent years, reporting some of the following key facts and figures:
- Since 2006, an average of about 682,000 hit-and-run accidents have occurred every year;
- Since 2009, the total rate of hit-and-run fatalities has risen by an average of more than 7 percent every year;
- More than 2,000 people were killed in hit-and-run accidents in 2016 alone;
- About 65 percent of people who sustain fatal injuries in hit-and-run accidents are not occupants of vehicles, but rather are pedestrians or bicyclists; and
- In the last decade, almost 20 percent of all reported pedestrian accidents were hit-and-run collisions.
States have laws in place that require motorists to stop when they have been involved in an accident. The California Vehicle Code requires drivers to stop, and motorists who are involved in a crash and leave the scene of an accident can face criminal charges.
How Can I Seek Financial Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Crash in Los Angeles?
If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident in Southern California, it is critical to do what you can at the scene to identify the vehicle or the driver. If you are able to do so, photograph the vehicle before it leaves the scene or jot down the motorist’s license plate number. Of course, it can be difficult or even impossible to identify the driver in crashes that result in serious injuries, especially since these accidents can be disorienting. If you can identify the driver, you ultimately may be able to file a car accident lawsuit against that motorist to seek compensation for your injuries.
In the meantime, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim through your own auto insurance if you pay for certain types of coverage. For example, you can typically file a collision coverage claim to pay for your vehicle damage, while you may be able to seek coverage for your medical care through Medical Pay Benefits (or more simply, Med Pay) coverage. If you pay for uninsured motorist coverage, you may also be able to seek compensation.
Our hit-and-run lawyers in Los Angeles can speak with you about strategies for identifying the driver and holding that driver accountable. If you can identify the responsible driver, you may also be able to file an auto insurance claim through that motorist’s coverage.
How Comparative Fault Can Affect Your Los Angeles Hit and Run Accident Claim
What will happen if you do identify a hit-and-run driver and file a claim, but that motorist says that you are also partially at fault for the accident? This question raises the issue of comparative fault.
Under California’s comparative fault law, a plaintiff can seek compensation regardless of whether she or he is partially to blame for the crash or for her injuries. As long as the defendant still bears some responsibility, the plaintiff can recover. This is true whether the plaintiff is 1 or 2 percent at fault or 99 percent at fault. However, if the court does determine that the plaintiff is partially at fault, the plaintiff’s total damages award will be diminished by that plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
Learn More by Contacting Our Los Angeles Hit and Run Accident Lawyers
Hit-and-run collisions occur much more often than many people expect in Southern California and across the country, and they can result in devastating injuries. Even if the hit-and-run driver is not immediately identified after the accident, our aggressive Los Angeles hit and run accident attorneys can assist you with your auto insurance claim and can begin gathering evidence so that you can file a car accident lawsuit against the responsible party. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about how we can help with your claim. Contact Fisher & Talwar to learn more about filing a hit and run claim in California.