San Jose Hit and Run Driver Attorney
Representing Victims of Hit & Run Drivers Throughout Santa Clara County
The vast majority of drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents will stop after the accident. They will stop because it’s the right thing to do and they are concerned for the well-being of others injured in the collision. In some cases, they have to stop because they have also been injured in the accident.
It seems like everyone would do this after an accident, but a surprising number of drivers will cause an accident and then flee the scene, commonly referred to as a “hit and run.” These are reckless and careless individuals who are only interested in escaping legal responsibility for the accident and injuries that they caused. In many cases, the hit and run driver is trying to evade the police because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
California Laws About Hit & Run Drivers
Whatever the reason, it is illegal in California to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 20002, it is a misdemeanor to flee the scene of an accident involving property damage. Where injury or death is involved, California Vehicle Code Section 20001 makes fleeing the scene a felony.
In some hit and run accidents, the victim or witnesses are able to identify the fleeing driver by the type of vehicle and license plate. If the driver is caught, they can be prosecuted under Vehicle Code Sections 20001 or 20002. Recovery of damages can be pursued through the hit and run driver’s insurance carrier, if they have any insurance coverage.
However, some hit and run drivers manage to escape the scene of the accident and are not caught. This can create a substantial obstacle to recovering compensation for the injuries that you have sustained in an accident involving a hit and run driver. If the hit and run driver cannot be identified, it will be impossible to recover damages from the driver or their insurance, if they have any. This eliminates the possibility of recovering damages through the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, which is the primary method of recovery in a motor vehicle accident.
Recovering Damages and Seeking Compensation
Although traditional recovery of damages through the other driver’s insurance may not be possible, you may be able to recover compensation through your own uninsured motorist coverage. Your policy should include uninsured motorist coverage, as it is required under the law that all insurance policies have such coverage. If the accident was caused by a hit and run driver, you can pursue recovery through your own insurance carrier pursuant to uninsured motorist coverage. The higher policy limits you have for uninsured motorist coverage, the better. You can pursue an uninsured motorist claim much the same as you would against the other driver’s insurance, although there are some significant differences, such as the requirement that the parties engage in arbitration if they are unable to reach an amicable settlement.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
Regardless of whether a hit and run driver is caught or gets away, you will need to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue maximum compensation. The Law Office of James C. Suits II is only a phone call away from helping you get through the challenging legal process of recovering compensation against a hit and run driver. James will personally handle your free consultation and discuss all of the legal options available based on the unique circumstances of your accident. Once retained, he will focus on achieving the best results possible while at the same time maintaining the highest level of client service, where he will listen to all of your concerns and communicate with you frequently about the case. James will handle all of the hurdles and challenges that will present themselves during a hit and run case, so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Please feel free to call our San Jose office today at (408) 479-7622 to discuss how you can seek justice against a hit and run driver. Our consultations are always free and we enjoy speaking with anyone who has been injured in a hit and run accident.