Hire An Experienced Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer for Your Hit-and-Run Crash

Hit-and-Run accidents can have a devastating effect on their victims. Unlike other auto accidents, hit-and-run accidents often present a unique challenge for the prosecution of your claim. Often the driver and vehicle cannot be found. Other times, the reason the drivers flee the scene to begin with, is they are intoxicated or they don’t have auto insurance, which leaves the victims unable to recover from the responsible party.

Policyholders who have California Uninsured Motorist Coverage can submit their claim to their own insurance company for recovery. You should always remember they are not on your side, even though they are your own insurance company. The biggest mistake we see at Zappettini & Bradley is when people let their guard down because of the belief that their own insurance company will take care of them.

Sacramento Hit And Run Accident Lawyer

The way a driver behaves after an accident matters. In every state, drivers are required to stay at the scene of an accident except in limited circumstances. When someone causes an auto accident in Sacramento and then flees, he or she is committing a misdemeanor or felony hit and run.

In the state of California, the law states that if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, you must stop your vehicle and remain at the scene. You are not permitted to leave until you have exchanged information with the other driver including your license number, name, address and registration numbers. If you were the victim of car accident, you may need a Sacramento hit and run accident attorney to help fight for full compensation.

Most of the time, if a driver flees the scene of an accident it’s due to a lack of insurance, a warrant out for their arrest or they may be intoxicated. The first thing you should do is write down a description of the vehicle, the license plate number (if you were able to get it) and any other information you can remember. This will help the police when they arrive on the scene.

Not only do drivers involved in an auto accident have to stay at the scene, but they must also provider reasonable assistance to anybody that has suffered an injury. This includes calling for an ambulance. The penalty for breaking this law is a third-degree felony and can result in serious jail time, especially if the accident included injuries or fatalities.

Investigating a Hit and Run

One of the most pressing and stressful challenges for a victim of a hit-and-run is finding the driver who left the scene. If the person, can be found then the accident can be handled like any other accident. However, significant questions remain as to why the person left the scene. Did the person not have insurance? Was the person under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

So how can you make sure that you do everything in your power to find the hit-and-run driver?

The answer isn’t easy and depends on the accident, but in general, there are a variety of boxes you should check.

sacramento car accident lawyer

Hit-and-Run Investigation Checklist

If the driver speeds off before you can fully identify the person or vehicle, try to record the following details right away:

  • License plate number (full or partial)
  • Make of the car
  • Model of the car
  • Color of the car
  • Number of doors on the car
  • A general appearance of the driver
  • Note if there were any passengers in the car

If you’re on the road, especially a busy highway, finding a witness can be hard. But if you’re parked in a busy parking lot, on a neighborhood street, or you’re driving in slow-moving traffic near a lot of people, you should carefully look around for any possible witnesses to the accident and ask for their names and contact information. If possible, record or make notes about what they said about they saw on the spot.

Often, surveillance cameras are our clients’ saving grace. We’ve successfully tracked down camera footage from nearby businesses and traffic control cameras to help identify the guilty driver.

If your accident occurred near a business, church, school, government facility, or sometimes even homes with personal surveillance cameras, there is a strong possibility of finding the driver who hit you, or at the very least, proving that you were hit by another car. Looking for surveillance footage can be tedious and overwhelming, but it can make the difference in your case or claim.

Look for the same evidence if were hit while your car was parked, and if you can’t find any, at the very least, record the time you found the damage to your car, the time you parked you car, the exact location of your car when it was hit, and take pictures of the damage that was caused.

Do what you can to prove that your car was impacted by another vehicle. For example, if there was a witness who saw a car back into your car but can’t remember the details of the car that hit you, the fact that he or she saw a car impact yours is enough evidence to prove you were impacted by another vehicle, which is crucial when filing a claim.

In the event you’re hit by flying debris, such as construction material from the back of a truck, or a hubcap, you’ll want to clearly identify this type of damage with photographic evidence and if you can, finding the object that hit you.

In the event of substantial damage to your car or if you’ve possibly suffered an injury, make sure you call the police immediately to get an official accident report that can help corroborate your story.

If you’re driving during the accident and the driver who hit you speeds off, it can be tempting to drive after them to get their license plate number, but be aware that this may cause you to drive recklessly and potentially get in another accident or hurt another driver. Instead, you should call the police as soon as possible and provide them with the information about the vehicle right away.

A police report can also help prove to your insurance company that you are not attempting fraud and help you speed up the claim process.

By checking off these boxes, you will increase the chances the police will catch the driver who hit you, and it will increase the likelihood that your car insurance company will make a decision in your favor regarding your claim.

The Two Kinds of Hit and Run Accident Attorneys in Sacramento

The most common type of Sacramento car accident lawyer will fight for the victim and seek financial compensation for damages, injuries and other financial burdens the accident caused. The other type of attorney that takes hit and run accidents will defend someone that has been accused of leaving the scene of an accident.

If you are the victim of a hit and run accident or have been wrongfully accused of leaving the scene of an accident, you need a lawyer on your side. If you left the scene of the accident or were wrongfully accused, you could face extreme penalties. On the other hand, if you are the victim and you have sustained serious injuries, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.

Start With a Free Consultation From Our Sacramento Hit-and-Run Lawyers

Whether you need a defense attorney or a Sacramento car accident lawyer to help you with your case, our team of attorneys can help. They will provide you with a free consultation and full case evaluation, along with answering any questions you may have. If they believe you have a case, the necessary claims will be filed on your behalf and they will pursue compensation or begin building your defense. Get your case started today with a FREE consultation, here.