Steps to Take if You are Injured in a California Hit and Run Accident
In California as well as all other states in this country, it is against the law to flee the scene of an accident. The state of California takes these offenses seriously, and motorists charged with a hit and run can end up facing serious penalties.
Despite these regulations, hit and run accidents still occur quite often in California. Statistics compiled by AAA reveal that there were 337 hit and run accidents in California in 2016, which is the highest rate that the state has ever seen. The following will outline some important steps to take if you are involved in a hit and run accident.
Examine the Other Car as it Escapes
In many situations, the victims of hit and run accidents only have a brief moment in which to record details from the fleeing vehicle. Consequently, victims should make sure to watch cars closely so they can disclose this information to law enforcement. Some of the details that you should try to remember about the vehicle include:
The vehicle’s license plate number
The make, model, and color of the vehicle
Distinguishing features of the vehicles like scratches or dents
The driver’s appearance, sex, and age
The direction in which the vehicle headed
Determine if Any Witnesses Exist
Eyewitnesses can play a valuable role in hit-and-run victims receiving compensation. Following the accident, you should determine if there were any witnesses to the crash. If there are any businesses close to the accident site, you might ask if anyone inside saw the event occur. Once witnesses are located, you should obtain their contact information.
If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the scene of the accident as well as any injuries received. Make sure to get photos of the surrounding area, including any road signs, tire marks, debris in the road, weather conditions, etc.
Contact Law Enforcement
After law enforcement officers arrive at the accident scene, you should explain exactly what happened and share any details you might have about the motorist. Details about the motorist and the vehicle that hit you will help law enforcement to locate the hit and run driver more quickly.
Receive Medical Attention
Many serious injuries are not immediately noticeable. You should promptly seek an evaluation by a medical professional even if you do not immediately feel pain after an accident. Not only will a medical professional make sure that you receive the necessary treatment, they will also create a written record of your injuries, which can serve as evidence supporting the seriousness of your accident and extent of your damages.
Initiate an Insurance Claim
You should make sure to initiate an insurance claim as soon as possible after a hit and run or any other type of car accident. Missing deadlines can leave you unable to file for compensation. If law enforcement has located the driver, you might be able to pursue compensation from his or her insurance provider. Otherwise, it can be much more challenging to obtain the results you deserve the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Speak with an Accident Lawyer
A knowledgeable car accident attorney can help you pursue the various options for compensation that you have after a car accident. This might include pursuing an insurance claim or commencing a lawsuit against the person who hit you. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.