After suffering an injury in a hit and run accident, the injured may have many questions but few answers. How did this happen? Who will pay for my medical expenses? How will I recover if the hit and run driver is not found?
It can be a tough position to be in. However, knowing more about hit and run accidents may help. With this knowledge, you may be able to avoid these crashes or find compensation after such an incident. Here are some facts our Alameda auto accident lawyers have collected to help.
Common Causes of Hit and Run Accidents in California
In 2015, there were over 737,000 hit and run accidents in the U.S. according to a study by AAA. That study further revealed that over 2,000 people lost their lives in 2016 hit and run crashes, and California is where many of these fatal accidents occurred. From 2006 to 2016 an average of 270 people lost their lives to hit and run accidents here in California. Per capita, this makes California 7th in the nation when it comes to these fatal crashes.
The vast majority of fatal injuries in hit and run accidents are suffered by pedestrians and bicyclists. Injuries in this type of crash are often so severe that any delay in treatment could prove fatal. That could mean disaster if no one sees the crash before the hit-and-run driver flees the scene.
But why do drivers flee the scene of a crash? There are many reasons why a driver may choose to flee after getting into a car accident. Some of those include:
- The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The driver has no license or has a suspended license
- The driver panicked
- The driver has illegal drugs or firearms in the car
- The driver is on probation
- The driver believes the crash was the victim’s fault
Protecting Yourself From a Hit and Run Accident
Protecting yourself from a hit and run accident starts by trying to avoid an accident altogether. Pedestrians and cyclists should take measures to ensure their safety whenever possible. This means:
- Remaining aware of surrounding traffic
- Obeying all road signs and traffic signs
- Crossing streets at intersections or crosswalks only
- Looking both ways before crossing a street
- Riding scooters or bicycles in reserved bike lanes wherever possible
- Avoid using electronic devices or headphones while riding or walking
- Avoid walking at night if possible
- Wear bright and reflective clothing when walking or riding at night
Unfortunately, even when you do everything right, a hit and run accident can still occur. When this happens, the steps you take next could have a significant impact on your health. It can also impact your ability to file a claim. If you are in a hit and run accident:
- Call 911 or ask someone to call 911
- Seek medical help immediately
- Try to remember details about the car and/or license plate number
- Talk to the police and answer their questions
- Talk to eyewitnesses to gather more details of the hit and run driver
- Contact an attorney immediately to represent you and your interests
Contact Our Alameda Auto Accident Lawyers Today
If a hit and run driver injured you or someone you love, you need an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side from the start. Hit and run accidents are complex and often involve both criminal and civil aspects. You need someone who will fight for you, even if the hit and run driver is never found. Your attorney can help you obtain the funds you need, even if you must collect it from your own UM/UIM policy.
Contact the Alameda auto accident lawyers at Heinrich Law at (510) 570-1680 or fill out our confidential form for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We are conveniently located in Oakland and serve all individuals and families throughout the Bay Area. You are not alone. Call us today!