When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you must remain on the scene until law enforcement arrives. Unfortunately, there has been a dramatic increase in cases where a motorist has struck a pedestrian – or another motorist – and then sped off to avoid contact with the police. These kinds of hit and run accidents not only damage the victims’ health or property, but it also leaves them facing the costs of recovery alone. Since the numbers of these types of collisions are increasing, your chances of getting caught up in this kind of accident are also going up.
If you have been a victim of this type of injury, take heart. The Glendale News-Press is reporting that law enforcement has begun neighborhood-specific sting operations to catch the perpetrators of these crimes. Politicians, too, are beginning to take charge of the problem. KPCC Southern California Public Radio has noted that the Los Angeles City Council is discussing the need for tougher penalties and extended statutes of limitations for this crime. Indicating that in L.A. alone the number of hit and run accidents had increased by 3 percent this year, it is high time to tackle this problem in Southern California.
Damage is frequent and can be severe.
- Property damage. Whether the driver collided with a parked car or a moving vehicle, there is damage to the car that must be fixed. In Los Angeles, this type of damage occurred in 83 percent of hit and run accidents.
- Injuries. Although injuries are rarer than property damage, they are also far more severe. Fatalities or serious damage to the victim’s health are not uncommon.
It is a little known fact that insured drivers carrying an uninsured motorist clause are actually protected when they are the victims of hit and run accidents. However, since this type of claim actually requires you to file against your own insurer, the relationship of trust that you have established with the company may work against you. Did you know that contacting your insurance before talking to an attorney in an effort to protect your legal rights can actually work against you and decrease the compensation you eventually receive?
Protect your legal rights and discuss your accident with an attorney before talking to your insurer. Contact us today if you have been the victim of a hit and run accident and have questions about your legal rights and how to protect them.