Were you injured, or did you lose a loved one in a crash with a driver who fled the scene in Folsom? Failure to stop, render aid, and remain at the scene is illegal in California, and it can rob the victims of their opportunity to get answers and fair compensation from the at-fault driver.
According to a report from the California Highway Patrol, about 7.5 percent of all crashes statewide are hit-and-run accidents. Hit-and-run crashes are particularly frustrating for accident victims because finding the perpetrator and recovering compensation for injuries can be challenging.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Folsom or surrounding areas of Northern California, the attorneys at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC can help you figure out your next steps. Our Folsom car accident lawyers have more than 25 years of experience helping people with personal injury cases. We’ve helped our clients recover significant compensation for their losses. We know what it takes to win complex cases, and we will work tirelessly to uphold your rights as you recover from this tragic episode in your life.
For more information and legal advice about your injury claim, contact us for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident in Folsom?
A hit-and-run accident is when a vehicle strikes another vehicle, cyclist, pedestrian, or stationary object, then flees the scene. Not only is this morally wrong, but it’s also illegal. State law requires a driver involved in an accident to stop and see if anyone needs help. Anyone involved in a car accident should also exchange insurance information so the injured parties can seek compensation for their losses.
Hit-and-run accidents can be extremely costly if you’re on the wrong end of the crash. If another driver flees the scene after hitting your vehicle, you may have difficulty recovering compensation for your losses, especially if the offending driver is never found. That can leave you bearing the brunt of the costs related to your medical care, lost wages, and other expenses after a crash.
Who Pays in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Who will pay for your injuries and other expenses in a hit-and-run crash depends on two main factors: If the driver who hit you is identified and caught and the particulars of your insurance policy.
The best outcome in a hit-and-run accident is if you can identify the driver who hit you. If you can take pictures of the vehicle that hit you, or if surveillance cameras caught the accident, police can track down the hit-and-run driver, and you could file an insurance claim against them. In this scenario, you could get the other driver’s insurance to pay for your injuries, assuming you have the necessary evidence.
Things get a bit trickier if you cannot identify or find the driver who hit you. In this scenario, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto insurance policy could cover some of your accident-related losses. However, while auto insurance companies in California are generally required to offer UM coverage, drivers are not required to purchase it.
Even if you have UM coverage on your auto policy, do not expect the insurance adjusters to pay out a fair settlement without a fight. Even though you are dealing with “your” insurer on a UM claim, their goal is still to pay out as little as they can get away with. That is why you need a lawyer who will stand up to the insurance company and protect your interests.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Folsom, CA
If you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident in the Folsom area of California, here’s what you need to do:
- Don’t leave the scene. It’s tempting to chase after the other driver after a hit-and-run, but doing so is a bad idea. First, you could cause additional injuries as you’re chasing down the person who hit you. Second, if you don’t catch the driver, you’ve now left the crash scene and may not have any proof that an accident ever occurred.
- If possible, take pictures of the vehicle that hit you. If you see a driver trying to flee the scene of a crash, try to get a picture of the car and its license plate. If you can’t take a picture, take down a description of the vehicle as best you can. That can help police track them down so you can receive compensation for your injuries.
- Call 911. You may have serious injuries that require medical attention, so make sure to alert the authorities that there’s been an accident. You can also give them a description of the vehicle that hit you so law enforcement can start tracking them down. Finally, the police can file an accident report to have a written record of the crash for any insurance claims.
- See a doctor. If you aren’t taken to a hospital from the crash scene, see your doctor as soon as possible. Waiting too long to start treatment could worsen your injuries.
- Call a lawyer. Before you start dealing with any insurance companies, make sure you’ve hired an attorney. A car accident lawyer can look out for your interests, work to maximize your potential compensation, and handle the complex settlement negotiations with the insurance companies.
Common Injuries from Folsom Hit-and-Run Accidents
Some of the common injuries that result from hit-and-run auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents in Folsom include:
- Soft-tissue injuries (damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc.)
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Crushed, severed, or amputated limbs
- Back and neck injuries, including whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health effects
- Wrongful death
Can I Get Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident?
The compensation you can recover in a hit-and-run accident claim depends on whether you find the other driver, your own insurance policy, and other factors. Depending on the facts of the case, you could potentially claim compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Projected costs of future medical treatment
- Lost income
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Damaged personal property