Being involved in a car accident is always stressful and overwhelming. This only intensifies if the other driver involved in a car accident makes the decision to leave the scene of the accident. While being involved in a car accident is not illegal, making the decision to leave the scene of a car accident in which you were involved is actually a crime. If you suffered injuries related to a “hit and run” accident, you should understand that you still have legal rights.
California Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents
California law Vehicle Code 20002 VC specifically addresses misdemeanor hit and run accidents and makes it a crime in the State of California to leave the scene of an accident in which you were involved. Every person must provide their name, contact information, and insurance information after being involved in an accident in the State of California. If a person fails to do so and leaves the scene of the crime, then the person may be charged with a misdemeanor. If there was a serious accident that involved physical bodily injury or death, then the State of California will charge Vehicle Code 20001 VC, which is a felony charge.
Receiving Compensation Following a Hit and Run Accident
If you suffered injuries related to a hit and run accident, you may still have the ability to file charges against the other driver if the police are able to discover their identity through an investigation. In this case, the car accident insurance claim or personal injury case would move forward, and you would have the ability to receive compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages as a result of being unable to return to work, and pain and suffering.
Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance Claims
If the other driver is not found through an investigation, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries. While you are required to have car insurance coverage in the State of California, you are not required to have uninsured or underinsured insurance. All car insurance companies in California are required to offer these types of insurance, but a driver has the legal right to refuse to pay for these additional coverages.
If you are involved in a car accident with a hit and run driver, you may have the right to receive compensation from your own insurance company through uninsured coverage if you selected this type of insurance coverage and protection. Visiting with your insurance company directly is typically the best practice in order to determine your coverage and if you have this type of insurance in your policy.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a car accident and the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, you may still have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.