Leaving the scene of an injury accident is a serious offense in California. Motorcycle riders who are injured in a hit-and-run accident may have difficulty pursuing the financial compensation they need. Depending on the outcome of the investigation and the type of insurance the victim has, compensation may be available for the losses suffered in the collision. A skilled Mission Viejo motorcycle accident lawyer can help victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.
Mission Viejo Motorcycle Accidents
If you have been injured in an Orange County motorcycle accident, you are not alone. There are hundreds of motorcycle-related injury accidents every year in Orange County. According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities but 16 injuries reported in Mission Viejo motorcycle accidents during the year 2009. In Orange County as a whole, 17 people were killed and 735 were injured in motorcycle accidents during the same year.
It is not only unconscionable, inhumane and irresponsible to leave the scene of an accident when someone has been hurt, but also illegal. California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) states: "The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident."
California motorists are required by law to stop immediately at the scene of the crash contact the authorities when someone has been injured. They must also exchange contact information with the other motorists who are involved in the crash. In the case of a hit-and-run collision, investigators will usually search the crash site for clues, review nearby video surveillance tapes and interview anyone who may have information on the crash to track down the driver who fled the scene.
If the authorities arrest the hit-and-run driver, the injured victim can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to pursue compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, not all Mission Viejo hit-and-run accidents result in an arrest. In cases involving a negligent driver who is not found by the authorities, financial compensation may still be available if the victim has uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage.
Damages that may be claimed through civil litigation or through uninsured motorist coverage include:
- Medical bills: All past and future medical bills related to the accident should be included. This includes emergency room services, hospitalization, medical testing, medical devices, prescription drug costs, surgical procedures and the costs related to rehabilitation services.
- Lost wages: If the victim had to miss work while receiving treatment or during the healing process, the lost wages should be considered during the claim process. In some cases, the injury may result in a decrease in the victim’s earning potential or may even make it impossible for the victim to earn a livelihood. Additional compensation should be available in motorcycle accident cases that result in catastrophic injuries or permanent disabilities.
- Pain and suffering: There are some cases where the victim can pursue financial compensation for nonfinancial losses such as physical pain and mental anguish. All injured motorcyclists would be well advised to keep a journal of their physical and emotional struggles after the accident.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, the experienced Mission Viejo motorcycle accident lawyers at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP can help you better understand your legal rights and options. We have an excellent track record of obtaining fair compensation for motorcycle accident victims and their families and holding at-fault motorists accountable for their actions. Please contact us to schedule a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.