Injured in a Hit and Run? You Have Rights

Hit-and-run accidents are a serious concern in Los Angeles and can lead to equally serious consequences. A hit and run accident occurs when a driver crashes into another vehicle, a pedestrian, or private property, then leaves without identifying himself, rendering aid, or both. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,…
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Injured in a Hit and Run? You Have Rights

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Hit-and-run accidents are a serious concern in Los Angeles and can lead to equally serious consequences. A hit and run accident occurs when a driver crashes into another vehicle, a pedestrian, or private property, then leaves without identifying himself, rendering aid, or both. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "11 out of every 100 traffic accidents are hit and run accidents. Of those, {more than} 4% result in fatalities."

Following a sharp increase in hit-and-run incidents, California has taken steps to make it easier for a hit and run victim to obtain justice.

California laws around hit and runs

California Vehicle Code Section 20002 makes it a misdemeanor if to damage another vehicle or other form of property and leave the scene without first leaving identifying information and (if requested) presenting your driver’s license and vehicle registration. If the negligent driver did not own the vehicle s/he was driving, s/he must also provide the name and address of the rightful owner. The only time a driver is not obligated to exchange information is when you cause an accident which results in damage only to your own car or property and not to any other person or property.

Punishment for hit and runs

If a hit-and-run accident results in physical injury or death of a person, the penalties can be quite severe, as they should be. From a criminal law standpoint, hit-and-runs involving serious permanent injuries or wrongful death can be charged as felonies with punishments up to 4 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Also, if a defendant is convicted of hit-and-run involving injury or death, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is obligated to revoke his or her driver’s license in the state for at least one year. For victims who file a lawsuit against the driver in civil court, the potential to obtain a high award for damages is quite strong. Speak with an experienced accident lawyer about your case.

Common reasons behind hit and run accidents

According to the American Bar Association, the most common reasons for hit and run accidents include:

  • The driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • The driver does not have insurance
  • The driver did not have permission to drive the car, or the care is stolen
  • The driver is unlicensed or driving with a suspended license
  • The driver is driving a company car and doesn't want his boss to find out
  • The driver has outstanding warrants for tickets or more serious crimes
  • The driver is in the country illegally
  • The driver is transporting stolen property or drugs

This list is not exhaustive. To discuss the injuries you suffered in a hit and run accident and your potential for financial recovery, please reach out to the accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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Our employment & personal injury attorneys recognize that the individuals we work with are typically going through overwhelming and stressful times in their lives. When an individual hires us, we strive to provide the client with the strong legal representation and effective counsel they need to receive fair and just compensation. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients in their time of need. Our employment & personal injury team is comprised of well-respected lawyers who have been involved in several multi-million dollar settlements, earning us membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. This further demonstrates our ability to take on complex accident cases.

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With over 40 years of experience, we have handled many slip and fall cases. I can provide you with the caliber of legal services that is normally available only to large companies, due to my experience in large-scale litigation that has resulted in awards of millions of dollars on many occasions. In 2014, Michael Ghozland was named “Street Fighter of the Year” by Consumer Attorneys of California in 2014. Because of my outstanding trial record, winning your case will probably mean obtaining a private settlement, with no need to ever step into a courtroom. Insurance companies know my reputation, and most of them would rather settle than face me in a slip and fall lawsuit.