What to do after a Hit and Run accident in California

In most instances of a car accident responsible drivers stop and collect information from each other. They report the accident to 911 and call for medical help if required. But some drivers do not bother to stop after an accident and just drive off.

As per the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety , in over 10% of car accidents reported to the police one of the drivers do not wait and flee the scene.


What Is a Hit and Run accident?

When a person is involved in a car accident with another car, pedestrian or a fixed object and then leaves the scene of the accident without offering any help or identifying oneself, it is considered a hit and run accident.

Some states have included any collision with an animal under the “hit and run” definition.

In most of the states, it is not important who caused the accident or who was responsible for the crash, leaving the scene of an accident without identifying oneself or providing assistance is considered a hit and run.

If a person has to leave the scene of the accident for accessing emergency assistance like going to a nearby gas station or shop to make a call or get help, it is not considered a hit and run, as long as the person returns to the accident scene.

In most states hit and run is not associated only with accidents or crashes on the highway or public road. Many states have extended the hit and run laws to cover collisions in parking lots too.

For example, if a driver crashes into an unoccupied car in a parking lot and fails to leave a note with contact information on the windshield, the laws of many states will consider it to be a case of hit and run.


Why do hit and run drivers flee the scene?

Some of the common reasons why hit and run drivers flee the scene of an accident are:

  • They are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Their driving license is suspended or revoked
  • They do not have a driving license
  • Their driving license has expired

If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run car accident, do not panic treat the accident like a regular car crash. Below mentioned are few things you should follow after a hit and run accident.


What to do after a Hit and Run accident?

1] Try to Identify the Other Driver

It is difficult for the police to catch hit and run drivers without any strong leads or information. You can help them find your culprit by writing down some important information after the crash when the details are still fresh in the mind.

  • Write down details of the car like license plate number, color, make of the car, model etc.
  • Ask other witnesses of the crash if they noticed anything that could help identify the driver.
  • Check nearby shops or security cameras for any information
  • Click pictures of the damage to your vehicle and your injuries

2] Seek Medical Treatment

After the accident, it is advisable to get yourself checked by a medical professional or get admitted to a hospital, even if for minor injuries. This is not only important from your overall health point of view but also useful while filing a personal injury claim.

Taking medical help allows proper documentation of the injuries sustained. It also shows that you took timely action. Both these points are very important for proving you deserve compensation.

3] Recover Damages

In a regular car accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company is responsible to pay for the property damage and medical expenses. But in a hit and run accident if the at fault driver is not caught or identified, then the victim will need to go through their own insurance company to obtain compensation.

4] What damages can be recovered in a hit and run accident?

As a victim of a hit and run crash, you are entitled to be compensated for the medical expenses incurred, damage to the property and pain and suffering experienced.

  • Economic damages: Economic damages cover all the present and future expenses associated with the accident. The expenses include present and future medical bills, physical and psychological therapy costs, property damage coverage, lost wages or loss of job etc.
  • Non-Economic damages: Non-economic damages cover the costs that are intangible like the cost of pain and suffering. It is not easy to determine the price for the pain and suffering experienced. An experienced personal injury attorney can study the case and determine the damages receivable.

5] Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Filing a police report and understanding how to claim compensation for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run is only the start of a long damage recovery process.

You’ll need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure you receive fair and just compensation for the losses suffered.

Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Khashan Law Firm have been successfully representing injured car accident victims for more than 10 years. We work on a contingency basis, we will not charge anything from you unless and until we win the case for you.

We follow the “No Recovery – No Fees” approach. Call Khashan Law Firm today at 951-461-2387 to schedule your free consultation and get the help and compensation you deserve.