California Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Hit and Run Crashes
Pedestrians injured in a hit-and-run accident may be entitled to compensation for damages. The skilled and knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys at Case Barnett Law represent victims who were injured by a driver who fled the scene, and we provide answers when they are overwhelmed with financial burdens and emotional distress. Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options, and let our accomplished California pedestrian accident attorneys investigate your hit-and-run accident and help obtain compensation, even if the driver can’t be located.
Any type of physical activity can provide positive health results, but walking offers some special benefits. It can ease joint pain, boost immune function, and even reduce your cravings and tame your sweet tooth. However, walking can also be dangerous. Being a pedestrian in Orange County, where the temperatures are pleasant year-round and suitable for many outdoor activities, can put you at risk of being hit by a car. If the driver of that car flees the scene, your chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses can be difficult. However, our proven Costa Mesa personal injury attorney team can help you investigate your accident and explore the possible legal options available to you.
Steps to Take If You’re Injured in a California Pedestrian Hit and Run Accident
In a pedestrian hit and run, a driver knowingly hits a person who is walking, in a wheelchair, or using any moving object other than a bicycle to get around and leaves the scene without assisting the accident victim or providing information about themselves. Usually, this crime is a misdemeanor; however, if someone is injured, the charge can be a felony. If you’re a pedestrian injured in a hit-and-run, there are important steps to take following the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
If you’re able, call 911 right away for immediate medical assistance. Even if you think your injuries are minor or superficial, it’s important to see a doctor soon after the accident for an evaluation. Not only is this in the best interest of your health and well-being, but your doctor’s medical report is a critical piece of evidence should the driver be found and you file a personal injury claim against their insurance company. It shows the insurance company that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Get a Police Report
It’s important that you call the police after the accident to ensure that there is a police report that documents the hit and run. This report provides critical information that includes details of the accident and may include eyewitness statements about the car model, license number, and the person who hit you. If you’re conscious and able to answer questions, tell the police what happened so your statements get documented. Some insurance companies may not accept an insurance claim if there is no police report.
At the scene, gather as much evidence as you are able to. This can include taking photos of the accident scene. While there might not be much to photograph, you can take pictures of your injuries, including bruises, cuts, or blood, your torn or damaged clothing, the area where the car hit you, and scrapes or scratches on curbs, trees, or fire hydrants the car might have made while speeding away.
Refuse to Discuss Fault
Anything you say at the scene of the accident, to doctors, or to the insurance company can be used against you should the at-fault driver be found and you pursue a personal injury claim. That’s why it’s important not to discuss fault with anyone other than your attorney. Even if it seems obvious that the hit-and-run driver was responsible for your injuries, talking about the incident or discussing specific aspects of the accident can put your case in jeopardy. Insurance companies are known for using underhanded tactics to get the victim to say things that can harm their case. Tell your facts to a trusted, skilled pedestrian accident attorney.
Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
The most important thing you can do to help ensure a fair recovery for your injuries is to hire an attorney. Any pedestrian hit by a car could have serious injuries, but a pedestrian hurt in a hit-and-run will also suffer additional emotional distress because the driver is unknown and may never be caught. The skilled pedestrian accident attorneys at Case Barnett Law understand the stress you’re under after being hit by a driver who flees the scene. We will protect your legal rights and help you understand your options, even if the at-fault driver is never identified.
Possible Options for Compensation After an L.A. Hit and Run
It can be challenging to recover compensation after a pedestrian hit and run. The driver has fled the scene, and so it may seem you have no way to obtain financial support. If the hit-and-run driver isn’t found, the victim of the pedestrian accident must turn to their own insurance company to obtain compensation for damages. Although California doesn’t require people to carry personal injury protection, if you did purchase this type of policy coverage, it may help cover medical bills and lost wages.
If the hit-and-run driver is found and they have insurance, you can file a claim against their insurance policy. If your expenses are more than their policy limits, you may need to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover enough compensation to cover your losses. But it’s likely that the driver won’t have insurance—those who leave the scene often do so because they don’t have insurance.
And if you file a lawsuit against their assets, it’s unlikely they’ll have enough to pay the judgment. Experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney Case C. Barnett will discuss your options and work with all available evidence to find the driver and help get you fair compensation.