The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recently held a press conference to announce that hit-and-run fatalities in the city have been continuously increasing in the city and has skyrocketed 69% over the last five years. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, LAPD’s Chief Michel Moore said more than 236 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2019. He called on every driver in the city to “exercise heightened awareness and responsibility in the event of a car accident.”
Recent Hit-and-Runs in LA
Hit-and-run accidents, particularly fatal hit-and-run crashes, take a severe emotional toll on families that lose loved ones. During the news conference, Viviana Martinez, the girlfriend of a man killed in a hit-and-run accident back in May, pleaded with drivers to remain at the scene after a crash. Security video released by the LAPD captured that crash on tape. The clip showed a speeding pickup truck t-boning a Ford Fusion killing two people.
Officers also announced they made an arrest in connection with a Thanksgiving hit-and-run that killed 62-year-old Jihad Muhammad. Security video from that incident showed Muhammad getting hit by three drivers and then being dragged by a driver. LAPD detectives said during the conference that they would continue to work toward prosecuting those responsible for hit-and-run incidents into 2020.
Laws and Liability Issues
It is illegal to leave the scene of an injury or fatal crash under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a). This section of the law states that motorists should stop immediately at the scene of a crash, wait for authorities to arrive, exchange pertinent information with other parties and most importantly, provide assistance to the injured parties.
Los Angeles is notoriously known as the “hit and run capital” of the nation. Whether you are motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian, the odds of you being injured in a hit-and-run crash are high in this city. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need an experienced Los Angeles hit-and-run lawyer on your side, someone who will fight for your rights and help you recover the compensation you need to get medical treatment and recover other losses such as lost wages, cost of hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
A knowledgeable hit and run attorney can also help you understand how your auto insurance policy might work in an incident where the hit-and-run driver is not apprehended or in a case where the driver is uninsured or underinsured.