In California, hit and run car accidents are taken seriously. How they’re addressed by the court depends largely on whether an injury to another person or if the hit and run caused property damage or bodily injury or both. Here’s what you need to know if you were the victim of a hit and run accident in Los Angeles.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Is a Crime
If you leave the scene of a California car accident where you have caused property damage or where you injured or killed someone without providing your contact information, you’ve committed a crime. It doesn’t matter who is at fault. California law states that if you’re involved in a California car accident, you must give your information to the other driver before you leave the scene. This also means that if you or a loved one are the victim of a hit and run, you have legal rights.
Injured Passengers in Either Vehicle Makes California Hit and Run a Felony
California Vehicle Code 20001 covers hit and run accidents that involve an injury to or the death of anyone involved in the accident. This includes the passengers of the vehicle. A hit and run accident involving injuries to the passengers is a felony. There are also civil claims an accident victim can file, with the help of an experienced accident lawyer, in order to recover financial compensation.
Emergency Medical Attention Changes the Rules of a Hit and Run
If the driver or another person involved in the hit and run has a legitimate medical emergency, he or she may be legally allowed to leave the scene without exchanging information. However, it is imperative that the treatment must truly qualify as an emergency. Talk to your attorney about whether the circumstances of your hit and run qualified for this exception.
Misdemeanor Hit and Run May Be Settled in Civil Court
Under Penal Code 1377, a misdemeanor hit and run charge may be settled in civil court. However, the involved parties must agree to the civil settlement. Otherwise, the driver charged with the misdemeanor could face jail time or probation.
As you can see, California law does not take hit and runs lightly. Do not delay if you or a loved one suffer property damage or personal injuries in an accident. For a free, no obligation consultation, contact the experienced Los Angeles hit and run lawyers at Ghozland Law Firm today.