Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, particularly if you are seriously injured. Any stress and frustration you might be feeling can be especially substantial if the driver who caused the accident thereafter flees the scene. Those involved in these hit-and-run accidents oftentimes worry that they will not be able to obtain compensation for their injuries or other damages since the driver is unknown. Fortunately, if you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, in many instances an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can help you.
Under California law, drivers are required to stop if they have been involved in an accident in order to exchange information such as names and addresses and to notify law enforcement. However, even though hit-and-run accidents are illegal, they still happen and can be the cause of devastating injuries.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the other driver leaves the scene, it is important that you try to gather any evidence of the driver’s identity, including the make, model, and color of their car and possibly the car’s license plate number. You might even want to try to take a photograph of the vehicle if you can. But remember, when gathering evidence, it is important to stay safe and to not place yourself in danger by getting out of your vehicle to stop or chase after the runaway car. You should also report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible and try to describe the accident and the damage caused as best you can.
When you hire an experienced Orange County Car Accident Lawyer after you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you can expect that your lawyer will make sure that law enforcement is investigating your accident and searching for the responsible diver. In some instances, your lawyer may also want to hire a private investigator who can help figure out who might have caused the accident by interviewing witnesses and conducting other investigatory techniques. Even if law enforcement officers do not have enough evidence to arrest someone for illegally leaving the scene of the accident, there might be ample evidence to establish an insurance claim against that individual. This is because civil cases do not require as much proof or evidence as criminal cases. If the evidence obtained by law enforcement can show that another individual probably caused the accident or hit your car, it might be enough to settle successfully or win your case.
It is also important to mention uninsured motorist coverage. While you are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company must offer it to you, and it usually is a good idea to go ahead and purchase it in order to protect yourself. Uninsured motorist coverage is beneficial if you cannot identify the driver who caused the accident or hit you. In these instances, you can make a claim against your uninsured motorist coverage and depending on the specific circumstances of your crash, the coverage will usually pay for bodily injuries that are caused by the hit and run accident.
If you have been in a hit-and-run accident in California and have sustained injuries, it is crucial that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.