Hit & Run Accidents
San Francisco Hit & Run Accidents Attorneys
Our Highly Effective Legal Team Is Ready to Fight for You
Our compassionate lawyers at Scarlett Law Group know that being involved in a serious car accident can be devastating, especially if the other motorist tries to avoid responsibility by fleeing the scene of the accident. A hit-and-run occurs when one party involved in a collision with a pedestrian, vehicle, or object leaves the scene without identify themselves or offering aid to those in need of assistance. While a hit and run accident might complicate the injured party’s claim for damages, they can still seek fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Legal Duties Do Drivers Have Following an Accident
Under California law, drivers involved in an accident that results in injury or death must stop immediately at the scene and remain there until the authorities arrive. Drivers also have to provide reasonable assistance by calling 911 or law enforcement if there are any injured drivers, passengers, or pedestrians at the scene of the accident. When authorities arrive, drivers must provide their personal information, such as their name, vehicle registration number, and proof of insurance.
When it comes to an accident involving an unattended parked car, the law states that the driver must leave their name and contact information for the driver of the damaged vehicle. If the driver leaves the scene without providing all of the necessary info, then they can be charged with a misdemeanor that can carry the maximum sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
If the driver causes a serious or permanent injury or death, and they knowingly flee without stopping, providing aid, and exchanging information, then they can be charged with a hit and run felony. If the driver is convicted of a hit and run felony, they then can be punished with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 4 years in state prison.
Common Reasons Drivers Flee the Scene
Although leaving the scene of an accident is a reprehensible act, many hit and run drivers are motivated by the following reasons:
- They are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- The driver has an arrest warrant
- The driver doesn’t have insurance
- The driver doesn’t have a valid California driver’s license
- The driver is undocumented
- The driver was operating an employer-owned vehicle and doesn’t want the employer to know about the accident
- The vehicle is stolen or being used without the owner’s permission
Recovering Compensation for a Hit & Run
Recovering compensation for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident can get complicated because you also have the challenge of tracking down the driver who fled the scene. Even if you can find the driver, several obstacles can stand between you and recovering compensation.
One of these obstacles is insurance companies. In California, insurance companies automatically include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage when drivers buy a policy. Uninsured/underinsured driver insurance covers a hit-and-run accident, essentially treating the situation as though the at-fault driver had stuck around but did not have adequate insurance. However, this coverage can be refused. Insurance companies generally recommend collision and comprehensive coverage when drivers opt out of uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
If you have either of these two types of coverage, then you can file a claim with your insurance company to recover damages arising from a hit-and-run accident. The insurance company might offer a settlement through your coverage according to the policy’s limits to reimburse you for vehicle repairs and medical bills. However, if you only purchased the minimum insurance policy required under California law, your insurance provider might deny your claim.
If you suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one due to a hit-and-run car accident, then you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss whether you should settle with an insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or another negligent party. Although the party you are suing will need to be present, a seasoned lawyer can help you track down the at-fault driver or take action against a vehicle manufacturer or government entity that can be held liable for the hit-and-run accident.
Evaluating & Diagnosing TBIs After a Hit & Run Accident
Physical trauma to the head or blunt force or whiplash during a hit and run accident can bruise your brain and cause damage to the internal tissue and blood vessels, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Common symptoms of a mild brain injury include headaches, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Symptoms of moderate and severe brain injuries include changes in mood or sleep patterns, numbness in the extremities, vomiting, nausea, and seizures.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should seek medical assistance and ask for MRIs and CT scans to rule out or identify severe brain trauma. At Scarlett Law Group, we know that TBIs can lead to serious disabilities that can impact your quality of life. Our renowned law firm has recovered favorable verdicts and lucrative settlements on behalf of clients in California who have suffered devastating TBIs in hit-and-run accidents. With our firm in your corner, you can feel confident that we will vigorously pursue all of the compensation you’re entitled to and keep you informed of your rights throughout the case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Hit & Run Attorneys Today
Building a strong case starts with finding the right legal advocate who is equipped with the resources you need to act quickly and protect your rights as an injured victim of a hit-and-run accident. We are here to help you face this stressful situation and guide you through the claims-filing process so you can take action and hold those who caused your injuries financially accountable.
For over 25 years, our founding lawyer, Randall H. Scarlett, has provided top-tier legal guidance for clients in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. When you choose our firm to handle your hit-and-run accident case, you will get a group of dedicated legal professionals who can serve your unique needs, whether you’re facing complex litigation or seeking full compensation through a settlement.
If you are ready to speak with our hit-and-run accident attorneys about your case, please call (415) 688-2176 or contact us online now to schedule your free consultation to learn more about our comprehensive legal services.