Being involved in an accident can be upsetting, but it may be particularly troubling when the other driver leaves the scene. Hit and run car accidents in Riverside, CA, are not uncommon. If it happens to you, it is important to know what to do and how to handle the situation. First, it is essential that you remain at the location where the crash happened. While it may be tempting to try to follow the errant driver, it’s much safer to stay put.
Leaving the scene of a car accident is against the law in California. Immediately following the accident call the California Highway Patrol or the local police. Make sure that you note the make, model, and color of the car that hit you if you can. Make notes of what you have seen because it is likely that you’ll forget some details later. If the vehicle took a few minutes to leave you may have time to get the license plate number or take a photo of the car.
Tips for Hit and Run Car Accidents in Riverside, CA
When you contact the police to report the crash, let them know that the other vehicle left the scene. Make a note of which direction the car when it left. If you were hurt, you need to seek medical attention at once. Even if you don’t feel any pain, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries may not show up until later, or you could have internal injuries that need to be treated quickly.
Take photos of the accident scene. Give a statement to the police regarding what happened. The damage to your vehicle may be extensive and could require that your car be towed from the scene. Before it is, take pictures of the damage while the vehicle is still in the location where the incident happened. It is up to the police to investigate the crash. Following the vehicle or trying to stop it could be dangerous for those who are not properly trained.
Police Investigation of Hit and Run Accidents
A police investigation of the accident will be completed. In the case of hit and run car accidents in Riverside, CA, the officers will take a statement from you and your passengers as well as any witnesses to the incident. The police will inspect the scene and your vehicle to help determine details about the other car. Sometimes parts from the other vehicle broke off in the crash and will be retrieved for evaluation. These parts can be examined to help find out the color and other details of the car.
There might be surveillance footage of the crash from a local home or store. If so, the police will review it for information about the vehicle that fled the scene. If the vehicle is caught on tape, there are methods available to improve visibility and possibly enhance the license plate number. The authorities will utilize their database to try to locate vehicles fitting that description. If you remember any important details, you should let the police know immediately.
Why do Hit and Runs Occur?
There are a number of reasons why someone may flee the scene of car accidents in Riverside, CA. In many cases, the driver is not leaving simply because he feels he is at fault for the crash. In some instances, there are underlying factors that make a driver want to avoid contact with the police.
For example, the driver could be driving without a valid license or with a suspended license. He may have an outstanding warrant and does not want to go to jail. He could be driving without insurance, or the vehicle may be stolen. Other times, the driver might be driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of drugs. There might be illegal substances in the vehicle which he does not want to be found.
Hit and run drivers are often found by the police. They will face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, along with any other charges that could apply. If the other driver is located, you will be able to seek legal action against him for any damages that were incurred.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
As the victim of a hit and run accident you probably feel helpless. There isn’t much you can do on your own; however, you can seek help from an attorney. You might want to wait before placing a claim with your own insurance company. If the other driver is at fault and is located, his insurance should cover the damages.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help protect your rights and guide you through the process more easily. Once the driver is found, you will be able to proceed. In some situations, you might need to file a claim against the driver for damages that you sustained due to the accident. Damages include both physical injuries and harm to property.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Will Help
If you were hurt in a hit and run car accident in Riverside, CA, you have probably already accrued some hefty medical bills. Your injuries may require further treatment or rehabilitative care in the future. These expenses should also be paid by the negligent party. Your attorney will be extremely helpful in gathering the evidence necessary for making a successful case.
Some of the important tasks that your lawyer might take part in include interviewing witnesses, reviewing video footage, examining the scene of the accident and making sure that all documentation is in place. Additionally, it may be necessary to obtain further reports or get expert testimony if the case proceeds to court. These tasks will be taken care of by your attorney, so you won’t need to worry about the situation. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you it is best to talk to your attorney before talking to them. They could try to get you to make a statement or accept a settlement that may not be in your best interest.
If you were hurt in a hit and run car accident in Riverside, CA, we could help. Call us at 1-800-HURT NOW to discuss your case today.