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Reacting to a hit-and-run

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Blog, Car Accidents |

Hit-and-run accidents happen all too frequently in California, and fleeing drivers don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. Victims may need to take appropriate action when the driver departs.

Hit-and-run driving

Hit-and-run accidents refer to vehicle collisions involving a driver who leaves the scene, usually to escape prosecution or lawsuits. Under California law, hit-and-run accidents may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If a hit-and-run driver hurts someone, expect the fleeing driver to face felony charges. When only property damage results, the driver would likely face misdemeanor counts.

Hit-and-run drivers could face additional criminal charges, along with civil ones. Someone must pay for property damage or costs related to injuries. If the hit-and-run driver’s negligence caused the crash, they might be legally liable for the losses.

Victims of hit-and-run accidents might attempt to chase the fleeing driver. They might do so to confront the driver or procure identifying information. Chasing a hit-and-run driver could be very dangerous, as no one knows how the driver will react. People have lost their lives in confrontations with hit-and-run drivers.

Rather than pursue a driver, it may be advisable to call the police and provide a vehicle description. Giving the police a partial license plate number or identifying information, such as dents or bumper stickers, may help.

Collecting evidence often proves valuable at accident scenes. Taking smartphone video footage of the fleeing driver to assist with identifying them. Witness statements may help, too.

Safety and liabilities

Checking for injuries is vital after car crashes. Sometimes, seeking medical attention without delay could save a life. Also, a post-accident physical examination might uncover injuries the victim did not know they suffered.

Medical records may serve as evidence in a civil lawsuit. The more evidence a victim presents, the stronger a case might become.