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California Hit and Run Accident Lawyer

California hit and run accident lawyer

When you suffer injuries in a car accident where the other driver does not stop and exchange information, you have just been in a hit-and-run crash. Many victims fear there is no way to get compensation when the at-fault driver flees, but that is not always the case. A California hit and run victim lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve by investigating the case to identify the defendant.

At Bisnar Chase, we fight for justice. A responsible driver should never leave the scene after causing a crash. It is important for victims of hit and run accidents in California to understand that our law firm may be able to help, even if the other driver is not identified or apprehended.

A hit-and-run collision can be devastating, impacting victims and their families. Whether you suffered an injury that created substantial medical bills or have lost a loved one in an accident involving a vehicle, we can help. When you contact us, we’ll discuss the evidence, the accident details, how much damage you’ve suffered, and a path to get you the best financial compensation.

We handle each case with sensitivity and compassion. We understand the difficult times you are enduring and will explore all avenues to ensure you receive the monetary compensation you need and rightfully deserve. Contact our hit and run victim lawyers now for a free consultation with no obligations at (800) 561-4887.

Hit and Run Lawyer in California

California Hit and Run Laws

The law in California is crystal clear regarding hit and run crashes. If a motorist hits an unattended parked car, they must leave a name and contact information for the driver of the damaged vehicle.

When motorists are involved in a collision that causes injury or death, leaving the scene is charged as a felony, a more serious crime than an infraction or misdemeanor.

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.”

The law requires motorists involved in an injury or fatal crash to stop immediately, wait at the scene until authorities arrive, and exchange information. Most importantly, motorists must render aid to the injured victim if needed. Aid might be something as simple as calling 911.

Doing so helps ensure that the injured person gets prompt medical attention, which often makes the difference between life and death. When victims are left at the scene or in the roadway, they are vulnerable and in further danger.

Common Causes of Hit and Run Accidents in California

As experienced hit and run lawyers who have handled numerous cases in California, we can tell you there are several common causes of hit and run accidents. 

Drunk Driving: One of the most common causes of hit and run accidents in California is drunk driving. Impaired drivers often flee the scene of an accident to avoid being caught and charged with DUI.

Distracted Driving: Distracted driving, such as texting or using a phone while driving, can also lead to hit and run accidents. Distracted drivers may not even realize they have hit someone or something until later, or they may panic and leave the scene.

Reckless Driving: Drivers who engage in reckless behavior, such as speeding or weaving in and out of traffic, are more likely to cause hit and run accidents. These drivers may also leave the scene of an accident to avoid getting caught.

Lack of Insurance or License: Some drivers who do not have a valid driver’s license or insurance may leave the scene of an accident to avoid legal consequences.

It’s important to note that regardless of the cause, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense in California and can result in significant legal consequences for the defendant.

The driver will leave the scene without providing aid, whether they collide with another vehicle, striking a pedestrian, or crash into a cyclist.

Leaving an injured driver or pedestrian and fleeing the scene after causing a crash is unconscionable. But it often happens.

Bisnar Chase can help make the victim whole. Speak with our lawyer for hit and run accidents. The consultation is free; if we don’t win your case, there is no fee.

Hit and Run: Criminal Offense vs. Civil Lawsuits

Bisnar Chase is a personal injury law firm. That means we help those who suffer injuries in a hit and run accident. There are two branches of law regarding car accidents: criminal law and civil law.

Criminal law:

Leaving the scene of an accident after being involved in a crash is against the law. This means that you can face hit-and-run charges from the police if you hit someone and flee.

There are different levels of criminal charges. If you strike something and cause property damage before leaving the scene, this would be a misdemeanor hit and run. However, if you cause injuries or death, this would be a felony hit and run.

Criminal charges involving police and prosecutors filing charges against the culprit. It could lead to punishments such as fines and prison time. You will need a criminal defense attorney if you face hit and run charges.

Civil law:

In civil claims, the victim can seek financial compensation. They may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if caught or a claim against their insurance policy if the driver is unknown.

At Bisnar Chase, we work with injury victims, also known as plaintiffs. We do not provide criminal defense for hit-and-run drivers.

Is a hit and run a felony or misdemeanor?

Hit and run is a serious offense punishable as a felony or misdemeanor. Whether the offense is charged as one or the other depends on several factors, including state laws where it occurs, whether anyone was hurt after being hit by the car, etc.

If someone’s property gets damaged due to such an incident, a charge can be brought against them for criminal and civil liability. Under these circumstances, the penal code defines various levels of seriousness for this crime, from misdemeanors with fines to felonies carrying prison sentences.

Generally, in cases where no fatalities are involved, it would likely be classified as an infraction; however, if any physical injury occurred, it generally leads to a more severe penalty.

What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Hit-and-Run Crash

If you have suffered injuries in a crash where the driver has fled the scene, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights:

Call the police as soon as possible. The sooner you contact law enforcement, the faster they can act to locate and arrest the hit-and-run driver. Calling the police also helps document the incident. Obtain a copy of the police report to support your legal claim.

Collect information from the accident scene. In some cases, you may be able to get the hit-and-run vehicle’s full or partial license plate. Having the make, model, and color of the vehicle and a driver description can also help. Any debris from the vehicle on the scene could also prove valuable. Your hit and run attorney may be able to secure additional evidence, such as surveillance footage from nearby businesses.

Get names and contact information for witnesses. If others witnessed the hit and run, talk to them before they leave. They may be able to provide an eyewitness account that supports your case. Be sure to get names and contact information for witnesses.

Get prompt medical attention. You should see a doctor as soon as possible and get the necessary treatment and care for your injuries. This not only puts you on the road to recovery but also creates a medical record that serves as evidence of your injuries and medical expenses.

Report the crash to your auto insurance company. Do this as soon as possible. Do not admit or designate any fault. Also, do not give a recorded statement or accept a settlement agreement until you have spoken to an experienced California hit and run accident lawyer.

Common Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries

Hit-and-run cases can result in serious injuries. The most common include:

A personal injury attorney can help, even if the offending driver flees the scene without exchanging information. Through an investigation, your legal team can uncover information about the driver and pursue financial compensation.

Who is Held Liable for a Hit-and-Run Collision?

A hit and run accident attorney will work with you to build a case showing your injuries and the impact the crash has had on you. The liable party is the person responsible for causing a crash for the injured party. That means the at-fault driver.

If the driver is caught, we can file a claim against them. If they have insurance coverage, we can claim against that insurance policy. Some hit-and-run drivers may be uninsured. In that case, we could win the case, and a judgment could be made against their assets. However, if they do not have many assets, you may win the case but not get paid.

The other option, whether the driver is caught or not, is to file a claim against your uninsured motorist insurance policy. Read on for more information about this option.

What is uninsured motorist insurance?

For drivers and passengers hurt in a car accident due to another driver who has no insurance or insufficient insurance, uninsured motorist coverage offers financial protection.

In the event of damage to one’s vehicle, it may also help pay for repair costs. The uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage offers compensation when the other party at fault cannot be found—such as after hit-and-run accidents—or does not have sufficient auto liability coverage.

With this kind of protection, victims can receive money to cover bodily injury expenses like medical bills incurred during treatment related to the crash; missed wages due to time off work; vehicle damage; and pain and suffering damages, among others associated with being involved in a serious collision where there was minimal responsibility on your part.

The role of evidence in a hit and run case

In a hit and run case, evidence can play an essential role in determining the circumstances of such occurrences. Similar to any other car accident claim, supporting claims made by either party requires documentary evidence for crucial elements like who was at fault and the extent of the damages.

Evidence must be handled correctly to become useful during legal proceedings; otherwise, its value may not stand in court.

If applicable, expert witnesses, from forensic engineers or medical professionals, might also have to present their findings as evidence. Solid proof is essential when seeking compensation for injuries sustained due to personal injury cases related to hit and runs since insurance companies often only recognize valid documentation while settling cases.

Myths about hit and run accidents

There are several common myths about hit-and-run cases in California that can lead to confusion and misinformation.

Hit and run cases are easy to settle: Many people believe identifying a hit and run driver is a straightforward process. However, in reality, hit and run cases can be complex and require extensive investigation and evidence gathering by your legal team.

Hit-and-run drivers are always caught: While law enforcement officials work hard to identify hit and run drivers, not all cases result in the driver being caught. Factors such as a lack of witnesses or surveillance footage can make identifying and locating the responsible driver challenging. A private investigator is sometimes used to help identify the defendant.

Hit and run drivers will face minimal consequences: Some individuals believe that the drivers will only receive a slap on the wrist or a small fine. However, hit and run offenses can result in significant fines, jail time, and other legal consequences, especially if injuries or fatalities are involved.

Hit and run cases can be handled without a lawyer: Some people believe that they can handle a hit-and-run case on their own without the help of a lawyer. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide valuable assistance navigating the legal system and securing fair compensation for damages and injuries.

Hit and run cases only involve car accidents: Hit and run cases can involve not only car accidents but also pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and other types of incidents where a driver leaves the scene of an accident.

Why Hire a Hit and Run Lawyer?

Hiring a hit and run lawyer can greatly benefit someone who has been a victim of a traffic accident in California. Dealing with the aftermath of such an incident can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, and it is easy to overlook critical details that can affect the case outcome.

A personal injury lawyer has specialized knowledge and experience in handling these cases and can provide valuable assistance navigating the legal system.

A hit and run case in California can be complicated due to various factors. One of the main reasons is that California law mandates that all drivers involved in an auto accident must stop and exchange information. When a driver flees the scene, identifying and locating them can be challenging, making it difficult to hold them accountable for their actions.

Additionally, hit and run accidents often involve injuries, property damage, and other legal issues that require a thorough investigation and a comprehensive understanding of the law.

California has strict deadlines for filing a hit and run accident claim, which can be daunting for someone unfamiliar with the legal system. Missing these deadlines can result in the loss of legal rights and a failure to receive the compensation deserved.

Hiring our hit and run lawyer can provide you with the support and guidance needed to navigate the complex legal system and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case. With our expertise and experience, we can ensure that all legal deadlines are met, all evidence is gathered correctly, and all possible avenues for compensation are explored.

A hit-and-run case can be complicated. If the driver is caught after fleeing, you can file a lawsuit and claim against their insurance company. However, if the at-fault driver escapes, you may still have options.

Most California drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage. It is a type of coverage that can be included in your own policy to protect you. This means if you have suffered injuries in a hit and run, the uninsured motorist clause of your auto insurance policy should help cover damages and losses.

Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, hit and run claims are not slam-dunk cases. Your insurance company may try to minimize your claim or even try to get out of paying for your losses.

Bisnar Chase has decades of experience in dealing with insurance companies. Our seasoned trial attorneys will give you the best chance of a full physical and financial recovery. Reach out to our hit and run attorneys in California for a free personal injury claim evaluation.

What is Your Hit and Run Case Worth?

It’s challenging to provide a precise average compensation for a hit and run accident in California, as each case is unique. The amount of compensation can vary widely depending on several factors.

Some of these factors include the severity of the injuries sustained, the extent of property damage, and the impact on the victim’s daily life, such as lost wages or continued medical expenses.

Compensation for hit and run accidents in California may include reimbursement for;

  • medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • property damage
  • pain and suffering
  • other economic damages
  • loss of consortium if a wrongful death

 The total amount of compensation can also be influenced by the insurance policies involved, whether the at-fault driver is identified and insured, and the skill of the victim’s lawyer in negotiating a settlement or litigating the case in court.

A qualified hit and run lawyer can assess the specific circumstances of the case and provide an estimate of the potential compensation that may be available to you. Without catastrophic injuries, most hit and run cases can be from a couple of thousand dollars to five figures. Catastrophic injuries can lead to a seven-figure recovery.

It’s important to note that seeking legal advice as soon as possible after a hit and run accident can improve the chances of recovering fair compensation and avoid the statute of limitations expiring. 

Hit-and-Run Lawsuit FAQs

If you suffer injuries in a hit-and-run accident, check our frequently asked questions to see if you have a case. If you have further questions, please contact us!

 

The statute of limitations for most injury cases, including hit-and-run car accidents, is two years. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

 

Yes! If the at-fault driver is identified we can file a claim against their insurance policy to get the compensation you deserve.

 

You may still be able to recover compensation if the driver is not caught, depending on your insurance policy. Contact us to learn more.

 

Bisnar Chase only works with plaintiffs, we do not handle criminal defense.

 

Bisnar Chase works on contingency with a no-win, no-fee promise. No out-of-pocket expenses and no cost unless we win for you. Hit and run lawyer cost is typically 33-41% of what the attorney wins and is a sliding scale based on the number of resources used in your personal injury case.

 

Hit-and-Run Statistics

The number of hit-and-run accidents across California is rising steadily, and the stats make for grim reading.

California leads all states with 17% of all fatal hit-and-run crashes.

In 2022, a significant fatality increase resulted from motor vehicle accidents, making it one of the deadliest years on record. Based on data gathered from the California Highway Patrol and other relevant agencies, the state witnessed almost 4,000 deaths due to fatal motor vehicle accidents. Furthermore, over 270,000 individuals reported injuries from car accidents in the same year.

  • About 2,950 fatal hit-and-run crashes across California in one decade resulted in more than 3,000 deaths.
  • Los Angeles hit-and-run accidents are prevalent. Nearly 50% of reports have a hit-and-run element.

When you suffer an injury and need help, contact Bisnar Chase. We are here to help you understand the complicated process of a personal injury claim. Our experienced hit and run lawyers can navigate the case for you and seek fair compensation.

Top-Rated Hit and Run Lawyer Near Me

Our law firm has 5 locations to serve you throughout California, whether in San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, or Orange County. We have five meeting locations to make finding a lawyer near you very easy.

The experienced hit and run lawyers at Bisnar Chase have the depth of knowledge and resources to help accident victims of all crashes, including hit-and-run accidents. We have a long and successful track record of putting our clients in the best possible position to receive maximum compensation for their losses.

You do not need to take our word for it. Trust the numbers:

  • Bisnar Chase has been in business since 1978.
  • We have a 99% success rate.
  • Our law firm has won complex cases across Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and all across California.
  • We have experience winning hit-and-run claims.
  • More than $850 million won and the resources to take on the biggest cases.

We are not afraid to stand up against insurance companies and fight to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. We also represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay any fees or upfront costs. You only pay a percentage of your award or settlement as our fee. If you don’t receive compensation, you don’t pay us. It’s our no-win, no-fee guarantee.

Suffering injuries in a hit-and-run crash in California or losing a loved one to a traumatic accident can be devastating. As you attempt to move forward, our hit and run lawyers can help guide you through what could be an intimidating legal process so you have the time and space to heal.

Contact a California hit-and-run lawyer at Bisnar Chase today. Call (800) 561-4887, send us an email or use our website live chat. A skilled hit-and-run lawyer can secure the compensation you deserve.

The Ultimate California Car Accident Guide 2024

california car accident guide cover

Click below to download The Ultimate California Car Accident Guide 2024, produced by Bisnar Chase.

Hit and Run Accident Attorneys in California

  • Contact our California hit and run accident lawyer for a free consultation if you’ve been injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver fled the scene. You may be entitled to compensation.
  • We have been serving California since 1978.
  • Bisnar Chase has recovered over $800 million in verdicts and settlements
  • Nation’s top-rated attorneys year after year.
  • We provide a free consultation and a no-recovery, no-fee promise.

Related Hit and Run News

Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Near Me

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Great people in this office, everyone was really helpful explaining everything. I was referred by my aunt for my car accident in October and the case went pretty fast. No problems and very professional. I was kept in the loop thru the whole process and was able to get a better settlement than my insurance company said I would. I can’t really compare them to other law firms because it was the first time I had to use an attorney, but my bad experience with the car accident was handled as well as I could have hoped.

P. Montgomery
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I had an attorney for my truck accident who wanted almost 60% of what my case was worth. Worse than that, he was willing to settle for $5,000.00 with the insurance company even though I was still treating for whiplash and back pain. I contacted Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys because a friend recommended them. My case was handled exceptionally well! I was being kept notified throughout the whole process and only when I was comfortable with the settlement figure, did my attorney Gavin Long, accept it. I felt like we were working together and I felt listened to. I would refer Bisnar Chase to anyone who wants quality over quantity!

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It was a pleasure working with such an amazing team. You will definitely feel welcomed and kept in the loop throughout the entire process. They do a great job making you feel like you are a part of their team which is how one should feel. The superb customer experience from finish to end. You can trust they will do all possible to promptly and efficiently handle your case.
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Bisnar Chase Google Review - Lena

I wasn’t sure if I needed a personal injury attorney because I’d never been in a car accident before. I assumed I’d just go straight through the other driver’s insurance but that quickly became a nightmare. I spent months fighting over the simplest of issues about my case, which was 100% the other driver’s fault. I hired Bisnar Chase to see if they could just take it over for me. I was really impressed with how much they communicated everything to me! I suddenly started getting calls from the insurance company, imagine that. My final settlement was 6 times what I asked for to begin with. Everyone I dealt with was really involved in what was best for me, not the insurance.

Lena Murillo

Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP

1301 Dove St STE 120, Newport Beach, CA 92660

800-561-4887

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