A hit and run accident in San Diego or anywhere else in California can be an absolutely terrifying and devastating experience. While it’s certainly a scarier situation for the victim, the driver in a hit and run accident usually decides to flee the scene on the spur of the moment out of fear of what might happen to them as a result. Regardless of that fear, the laws in San Diego and the rest of the state of California are strict when it comes to hit and run accidents. The law specifically requires anyone who is involved in an accident that sees property damaged and people injured to stop, remain at the scene, give aid to those who need it and exchange all pertinent information. People who get into a vehicle accident and leave the scene can face serious criminal charges.
The lesser charge a person can face for a hit and run in California is a misdemeanor, which is charged when there is only property damage involved as a result of the accident. However, if a person is injured as a result of a hit and run, the individual responsible for the accident can be charged with the more serious crime of a felony.
Repercussions of Hit and Run Accidents for the Victim
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents occur all the time. They leave the victims reeling from serious injuries that can remain with them for months, years or even permanently. Even worse, the emotional scars resulting from these accidents can last for a lifetime. If you are a victim of a hit and run driver, you may not only have to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath but you can also have hefty medical bills as well. It’s also not uncommon to have to miss significant time from work while you recuperate from your injuries and receive ongoing medical care and physical therapy. In the worst case scenario, a hit and run car accident can result in the tragic death of the victim or victims.
In most cases of a vehicle accident that results in injuries and damages, the injured party is able to bring forth a personal injury lawsuit so that they can receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages. However, when there is a situation of a hit and run, it can be difficult to locate the responsible party. When the guilty party flees the scene of an accident and doesn’t present identification, it can force the victim to go through many hardships in trying to receive compensation. Sadly, in some cases, the victim may not get any compensation at all.
Anyone who has been injured in a hit and run accident in the San Diego area should immediately contact a skilled personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will strive to track down the individual responsible for your injuries. In the event that this is an impossible task, your attorney will go another route by looking into your insurance options to get you the compensation you deserve.
How an Attorney Can Prove a Claim When the Driver Denies Involvement
An attorney can be very important for you in more ways than one. When you have been involved in a hit and run accident and are left with injuries, your lawyer can use investigational skills to make your claim stronger. This is especially helpful when the driver who hit and injured you denies that they were involved in the accident. Your attorney will talk with medical experts to learn about the extent of your injuries, the costs of your medical care and more. He or she will also talk with witnesses and discuss your case with accident reconstruction specialists to put the pieces of the puzzle together regarding the situation of the accident. Your lawyer will show that, while proving liability in a hit and run is difficult, it’s not impossible.
What Happens if the Hit and Run Driver is Never Caught?
If the driver responsible for the hit and run accident that caused your injury is never found, you can rely on your insurance company for compensation. If your insurance policy is sufficient, you might have underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. In that situation, your damages can be covered to a certain point. In the event that your claim is denied, however, you can legally contest the decision for bad faith.
How to Deal with Bad Faith Insurance Companies
Many people automatically assume that they can rely on their insurance company to compensate them in the event of an accident. However, many insurance companies end up denying their clients’ claims in favor of making a profit. If your insurer refuses to compensate you for the injuries you sustained in a hit and run, you should speak with an attorney immediately.
The best San Diego attorneys know the ins and outs of how insurance companies work and are familiar with the methods they use to deny a claim. Having a lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights, will ensure that you will get the compensation you truly deserve for your medical bills and damages.