In many cities across the United States, hit and run accidents are on the rise. In fact, in Los Angeles, California, nearly half of every collision that occurred in the city involved a driver who fled the scene. In the most recent studies done in 2011, an astounding 1,449 people were killed in these irresponsible and devastating accidents. 60% of all hit-and-run fatalities have pedestrians as victims. One of the biggest problems? Alcohol. Drivers who drive drunk at the wheel are more likely to lose control, and this has become a major contributing factor in these accidents.
California Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced a bill that extended the statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses from three to six years, completely changing the game in California. He has commented on the issue, "I had been reading the stories that Los Angeles had this just absolute plague of hit-and-run accidents. It really comes down to folks being left for dead on the side of the road by the person who is in the best position to call 911." (1)
What You Need to do in the Victim's Position
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, there are some options - however, you must act. If you sustained serious injuries, you may feel like you are in an impossible situation with a driver who cannot be identified and you may wonder how you will receive damages for your injuries. It is important that you call the police and report the accident because this will help you later in the claims process. You should also never refuse medical attention. Your injuries may not be prevalent at first, but they may show themselves down the line, so it is vital to seek attention as soon as possible for your own safety and claim.
It is also important to have as much information as possible in your accident. If you saw the vehicle or the driver, try to relay as much information as you can about what it or they looked like. Retrieve contact information from as many witnesses as possible. If you remember the license plate, this can also be valuable information that can help track down the driver of the vehicle that struck you. (2)
Helping You in Your Time of Need
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, we specialize in these cases and can help you every step of the way. These cases can be extremely complex, offering you a lack of solutions. Because of this, you may turn to legal counsel to represent you in the most dire times from trying to identify the driver, to helping you gain necessary compensation when you are working with insurance companies. Call us today for more.