Hit-and-run accidents are a growing problem, especially in recent years. If a driver collides with another vehicle and leaves the scene without notifying the authorities or exchanging information with the other driver, it is considered a “hit-and-run” accident in California. The reasons for a hit-and-run incident can vary – not wanting to file an insurance claim, being uninsured or unlicensed, illegal substances in the car, or the at-fault party attempting to hide from law enforcement for some reason or maybe more likely for being under the influence.
California state law requires drivers who are involved in an accident to stop at once. There are serious consequences if someone chooses to leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information; especially when another driver is involved or if there are injuries. Being involved in an accident can be a scary experience let alone having to deal with a hit-and-run matter.
Below are some tips that can help if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident. The more details you can give to authorities, the better the chances of finding the other driving and holding them accountable.
- Try to stay calm and park your car in a safe spot (pull over if the car is driveable). See if you can jot down the license plate of the other vehicle.
- Immediately call 911 and request police to the scene.
- Seek medical attention right away if necessary.
- Write down as many details as possible: even if you think you will remember them, it’s best to have them documented. Important details may include things like the date, time; car details: color, make, model and license plate numbers of the other vehicle and a physical description of the driver if you saw them by any chance. Was there more than one person in the vehicle?
- Locate witnesses (if any) and get their contact information. Witnesses can be crucial in hit-and-run cases.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and your vehicle.
- Surveillance Cameras: if there are any retail stores or buildings nearby that may have captured the accident you’ll want to either approach the business to ask for them to check their cameras, notify the police to request it OR ask your lawyer to obtain any such recordings.
Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with in these types of situations. You should report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. For more information about what to do following an accident, contact one of our experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys, at the Oaks Law Firm, today at 877-539-5366.