Every minute on U.S. roads, a hit and run crash occurs, according to recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Fortunately, not all of those hit and run crashes end up in human deaths. More than 2,000 deaths from hit and run accidents occurred in 2016—a 60 percent increase from just seven years earlier.
Every U.S. state now has enacted laws to slow the spread of hit and run accidents. In California, Vehicle Code (VEH) § 20002 makes it a crime for a driver to become involved in an accident and flee the scene. Penalties could include losing their driving privileges, a $1,000 fine, or even six months in jail, depending on the seriousness of the hit and run accident.
If you suffered injuries after a hit and run driver collided with you in your car, on your bike, or walking across an intersection, you might have the legal right to explore a financial settlement for damages from the accident. Reach out to a San Jose hit and run accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Our firm will listen to your description of the accident and work with you to seek awards related to medical costs, lost income, repair bills, pain and suffering, and more. Call our legal team for a no-fee consultation today at (800) 235-0444.
Hit and Run Accidents
A hit and run accident could involve a driver crashing into another vehicle, a fixed object like a parked car, streetlight, or fire hydrant, or even hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist. All these accidents become hit and run accidents when the guilty driver speeds off after the collision without stopping or reporting it to the police.
In a recent example here in San Jose, KTVU-TV reported a driver plowing into multiple cars at breakneck speed, severely damaging all the vehicles. Once the driver left the area without reporting the accident or leaving their contact information, they have committed a crime. Anytime a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene, they have broken the law, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Pedestrians also suffer tremendously in a hit and run accident. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that about 65 percent of all hit and run accident deaths involved collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists. When a hit and run accident severely injures or kills a pedestrian, the driver could face felony charges.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving San Jose, call 800-598-7557
Partner with a San Jose Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries in a hit and run accident, you have several options to exercise your legal right to seek full compensation for the expenses you incurred.
In any car accident liability claim, determining fault and proving negligence are the critical factors in moving toward a successful lawsuit. The plaintiff must prove that the hit and run driver was at fault for the accident, which led to your injuries, and that their negligence caused the accident. A San Jose hit and run accident lawyer can advise you on how best to uphold your rights. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today to learn more.
San Jose Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-598-7557
California Hit and Run Law
In a minor hit and run accident—for instance, where one car accidentally bumps another in a parking lot or on the street and causes slight damage—California drivers have several options:
- They can call the police to report the accident.
- They can leave their contact information in a note and place it on the other car’s windshield.
- They can quickly drive away before anyone notices what happened.
We call this third option breaking the law. A driver cannot leave the scene of a car crash without reporting the accident or identifying themselves to the other car owner with a note or card.
Proving Negligence in a Hit and Run Case
You can prove the other driver’s liability by showing that they acted negligently and caused the hit and run accident because of reckless or aggressive driving. The cause of the accident may include:
- Reckless lane changing
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield to pedestrians crossing the street
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Penalties for Hit and Run Drivers
In California, the penalties for hit and run drivers can range from a misdemeanor for small fender benders up to felonies when severe injuries or fatalities result from a hit and run accident. If found guilty, they can face fines that reach thousands of dollars and jail time, with VEH § 20001 setting a maximum of four years.
Seeking Damages in a Hit and Run Accident
If you have suffered severe injuries in a hit and run accident, you may have the hit and run driver’s insurance company reach out to you to settle quickly for a small amount of compensation. You may still be in shock and hurting from your injuries, but before accepting any offer, you might want a personal injury lawyer to review it. They can help you determine the full extent of your damages, including possible future costs, and negotiate with an insurance adjuster.
You might also consider filing a personal injury lawsuit instead of accepting a settlement. You can seek financial compensation resulting from the injuries you suffered in the accident. For instance, you can claim for:
- Medical costs, including hospitalization, emergency room fees, recurring doctor visits, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages and benefits from missing time at work while recuperating from your injuries.
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle or other property damaged in the accident.
- Mental and emotional trauma from the accident, including pain and suffering.
- Punitive compensation if the hit and run driver’s conduct was egregiously negligent or reckless.
A San Jose hit and run accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can assist in your fight for justice and compensation against the hit and run driver. Do not give up your legal rights after an accident. You do not have to settle for a small insurance payout. Call us today at (800) 235-0444 to speak with a team member about your case.