Car accidents are very stressful, especially if you have been injured and can’t work for some time. Accidents are even more stressful when the other driver doesn’t stop after hitting your vehicle. In California, when a driver fails to stop and exchange contact or insurance information after an accident, that driver can be charged with a hit and run if and when he or she is caught.
In the Bay Area, when you are in an accident, you have the right to expect the other driver to do what they are supposed to do, which is remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives. If the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, you will probably be worried about how to prove that the other party was negligent or at fault.
Common Reasons Drivers Leave the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is a pretty irresponsible thing to do, particularly if any injuries were caused by the accident. The decision to refuse to stop after an accident means that the driver will face additional charges if caught, which could include both criminal and civil penalties.
Why would any driver make the choice to leave the scene of an accident? Here are some common reasons that this happens:
- They were unlicensed, uninsured or driving with a suspended license
- They were operating under the influence of alcohol or other substances
- They are guilty of multiple traffic violations and worried about having another one on their record
- They are worried their insurance premium will go up drastically
- The vehicle is stolen, or the driver borrowed it from someone without their permission
- They were driving a work vehicle and are worried about losing their job
- They have outstanding warrants for their arrest
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
Unfortunately, if the other driver is never caught, the burden will fall on you to cover the damages and injuries that you suffered because of the accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, you may be able to get compensation from your own insurance company.
You should not assume that the other driver won’t be caught just because he or she left the scene of the accident. File a police report immediately after the accident, giving the police as much information as you can remember about the other vehicle and driver.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, one of them may have been able to capture the license plate or a partial plate number.
If you or any of the passengers in the vehicle were injured in the accident, local media coverage may encourage anyone with information to come forward. In some cases, the guilty driver may come forward voluntarily.
Receiving Compensation for Injuries
If you suffered injuries in a Bay Area hit and run accident, even if you are feeling hopeless about the possibility of catching the other driver, talk to a personal injury attorney. It’s important to follow up with law enforcement regarding efforts to find and identify the responsible driver, and a good lawyer can handle this for you.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know different ways of obtaining compensation for your injuries. You may need professional legal advice and assistance in receiving the compensation you are entitled to from your own insurance company.
Contact Kuvara Law Firm by filling out the form on this page. We will get back to you promptly to discuss your hit and run accident and how we can help.