Hit and run accidents are a common occurrence across the United States. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a hit and run accident occurs in the United States every minute of every day. These collisions often leave devastating injuries in their wake.
Dealing with a serious injury is challenging enough under the best circumstances. An injury resulting from a hit and run accident only further complicates an already challenging situation. Without knowing the other driver’s identity, it can be virtually impossible to hold them accountable for their negligence.
If you are dealing with the fallout of a hit and run accident, the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help. Our lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve, even if you cannot track down the other driver. To learn more, call (800) 598-7557 to schedule a free consultation with a Fresno hit and run accident lawyer today.
Understanding Hit and Run Accidents in Fresno
Hit and run accidents come in many forms. They involve a collision between two vehicles where one driver leaves the scene of the accident. Sometimes, hit and run accidents could involve a driver striking a parked vehicle and leaving the scene without contacting the owner.
Pedestrians are also frequently involved in hit and run accidents. Pedestrians face the risk of serious injury when motorists fail to notice them on or near roadways. These accidents are especially common in the early morning or at dusk when visibility is low.
State law requires drivers to take responsibility for their actions following a crash. According to the California Vehicle Code (VEH) § 20001, a motorist involved in an accident that results in bodily injury must stop at the scene and contact the police. It is unlawful to leave the scene before law enforcement arrives outside of the need for emergency medical care.
The rules work differently for minor accidents. If an accident does not involve bodily injury or serious property damage, there are circumstances that allow a person to leave the scene without calling the police. In minor accidents, a driver may leave a note on the windshield of the vehicle with their name and contact information.
Unfortunately, some motorists do not abide by these rules. Drivers that leave the scene of a serious accident do so for a variety of reasons. They might fear arrest for driving while intoxicated or without a valid driver’s license. Likewise, they might flee if they know their accident is not covered by their insurance policy. Their reasons do not matter to the injury victim in a hit and run accident.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Fresno, call (800) 598-7557
What to Do Following a Hit and Run
Your first step after a hit and run accident is to contact the police right away. Law enforcement has the best chance of tracking down the other driver if you do not delay in calling the police. In the moments after a crash, many hit and run drivers have notable damage to their vehicle that makes identifying them simple. Once they escape detection, they can have the damage repaired and limit the chances of identifying them.
It might be your first instinct to follow the other driver. This is a mistake, as it is impossible to know what situation you might find yourself in. If the other driver becomes desperate, you could put yourself and your passengers at a high risk of injury. Chasing another driver at high speed also increases the risk of an additional crash.
Do your best to document the accident scene. Take pictures of the scene and of your vehicle. Make contact with any witnesses in hopes they can identify the driver. If you are lucky, a witness might have caught the crash on video.
Another step you can take following a hit and run accident is to hire a lawyer. Your attorney can ensure you have exhausted every potential avenue to identify the at-fault driver. The attorneys of Ben Crump Law, PLLC can take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights after a hit and run accident. Contact us to see how a Fresno hit and run accident lawyer can help with your case.
Fresno Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
Attorneys’ Efforts to Locate a Driver
The attorneys of Ben Crump Law, PLLC might be able to help you track down hit and run drivers. In some cases, we are successful in identifying the at-fault driver when the police are not.
We will start by interviewing every person involved. This means you and any passengers that might have been in your vehicle. It can also include any witnesses you identified at the time of the crash.
The most important piece of information we will seek is the license plate number of the other vehicle, even if it is a partial plate number. The license plate can help us track down the owner of the vehicle, and that typically helps us identify the driver at the time of the crash.
Next, we will canvas the area around the accident site. In many cases, local businesses will have security cameras that record portions of the roadway. With any luck, these cameras could have captured the accident in its entirety. These videos could help our team identify the driver or make out the license plate.
Your Hit and Run Accident Claim Could Result in a Monetary Award
The stress that follows a hit and run accident is often significant. Dealing with medical bills and lost wages is bad enough when you know who is responsible for the accident. A hit and run accident adds the additional challenge of not knowing whether or not insurance coverage is available in your case.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC can assist you with your hit and run accident claim. To discuss your legal options, dial (800) 598-7557 to schedule a free consultation with a Fresno hit and run accident lawyer today.