If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, a GJEL hit and run attorney can help you recover your losses. Our award-winning California hit and run law team will provide you with a free review of your claim and help you through every step of the process from filing a claim to settlement or trial.
Get to know GJEL
GJEL Accident Attorneys are California Hit and Run Attorneys with a 99% success rate. If you were hit where a driver left the scene of an accident you may be entitled to compensation.
If you are injured through the fault of a hit and run driver, although you may not realize it, you are probably entitled to recover monetary damages for your injuries or for the death of a loved one.
These monetary damages include compensation for medical bills and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. This type of recovery is under a section of the typical California auto insurance policy and is called uninsured motorist coverage (also known as UM). We have helped hundreds of California residents obtain awards under the uninsured motorist law.
Awards & Distinctions
We Are An Award Winning California Hit & Run Accident Injury Law Firm
What to Do in Case of a Hit and Run
The best way to avoid hit and run charges in California is to treat any accident, no matter how minor, like an accident involving injuries and damage. Exchanging information and reporting an accident protects you if you later discover injuries or find the damage was greater than you thought.
Make sure everyone is safe
Make sure that you and your passengers are okay and call emergency medical services if anybody is injured. Hit and run California law requires that you move your car to safety if possible to avoid further accidents.
Call the police
Law enforcement and medical services should be contacted if anyone involved in the accident is seriously injured, including unconscious or deceased. To avoid later charges of hit and run in California, it’s best to err on the side of caution and report even seemingly minor accidents.
Remain at the scene of the accident
If you can, stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. Involving drivers must move their vehicles out of the traffic flow. They must also exchange their names, current addresses, and vehicle registration numbers, and offer reasonable assistance to any injured party.
Filing a report with the police
Filing a hit-and-run report with police will increase your chances of finding the other driver and gathering evidence. Hit and run California insurance claims generally require victims to file a police report. This ensures the driver who left the scene is found and held liable for damages and medical bills caused by their negligent and criminal actions.
To fortify your case of a hit and run in California, take notes while you remember the other driver and car. If you find evidence, don’t move it. Leave it where it is and let the police collect it. Its location may help them determine what happened and who is at fault. Take pictures of the damage and try to identify the other driver’s car. If the other driver can’t or won’t stay on the scene, get their contact information.
Hit and run laws in California require you to give the other driver your name, address, and registration number. You should also take photos or videos of the damage and of the other driver’s license plate if possible.
Contact a hit and run attorney
In order to get compensated appropriately, first contact your hit and run lawyer. California insurers will seek to minimize their liability and keep payouts as low as possible. You need a lawyer to fight for what you are owed.
We’re here to help you win your case
If you or someone you know was injured in a hit and run, contact GJEL Accident Attorneys today for a FREE case evaluation. Our hit and run accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for victims who have been injured in hit and run accidents throughout California.
Many Insurance Policies Protect Against Uninsured Motorists in Hit and Run Cases
Many California drivers don’t even realize that they have uninsured motorist coverage. In fact, more than 85% of California automobile insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage. Furthermore, even if you do not personally own a car or carry uninsured motorist coverage, a GJEL Hit and Run Attorney can often obtain a financial recovery for you from the uninsured motorist policy of a relative such as a parent, child, brother, or sister with whom you live.
Call GJEL hit and run California attorneys before consulting with insurance companies
We can recover for you as a result of a hit-and-run California accident regardless of whether you are a driver of a car, a passenger in a car accident, a motorcycle rider, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian.
Many of our clients did not even realize they had any rights under the California Uninsured Motorist Law when they first came to us.
Our hit and run accident attorneys will protect your rights
Some insurance agents do not adequately inform their customers of their right to make an uninsured motorist claim, and some insurance agents even imply that by making such a claim a person’s insurance rates may go up.
This is incorrect information. Under Proposition 103, California insurance carriers are only allowed to raise rates for an accident in which you were found to be at fault. If you feel you are not at fault and your insurance company is claiming you are at fault, we will also fight that issue for you with your own insurance company. We will fight for you on your hit and run charges California case.
Many California Insurance Policies Include Medical Payments
In addition to uninsured motorist coverage, most California insurance policies also include medical payments coverage. Our hit and run law firm stands ready to help you coordinate any medical payments coverage you have on your auto insurance policy with other health insurance coverage such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser, Medicare, or Medi-Cal.
Get Your Car Replaced
Another concern for most drivers in hit and run accidents is whether or not they can get their car repaired or replaced. Our hit and run accident attorneys will work with you to analyze your insurance policy both as to any collision coverage you may have, and as to any uninsured motorist property damage insurance you may have (UMPD).
UMPD coverage generally pays for any damage to your insured vehicle that happens in an accident caused by a known driver who has no insurance coverage. However, this also applies to hit and run circumstances. If you also have collision coverage, uninsured motorist in hit and run property damage California cases can pay your collision deductible. Even if you don’t have collision coverage, uninsured motorist property damage coverage pays up to $3,500.00 for repairs to your insured car.
Hit and Run Attorneys Will Maximize Your Return
Sometimes, individuals hurt in a hit and run accident feel that there is no hope, and that there is nothing they can do. We are always happy to take time to explore your case with you to see whether we can be of assistance.
Our lawyers for hit and run cases operates on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients owe us nothing unless we win their case. We have recovered over six-hundred million dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years alone. Many of these recoveries involved cases where the clients felt at the outset that there was no hope of recovery. Call hit and run car accident lawyers today for a FREE consultation.
What is a hit and run in California?
Hit and run accidents occur when the driver causes an accident and drives away without stopping to help others or reporting it to the police.
In a hit-and-run accident, a driver leaves the scene without leaving identifying information, and someone other than the driver is injured or killed. A driver may be charged with Misdemeanor or felony charges if he or she leaves the scene of an accident without leaving identifying information.
Several factors can cause hit-and-run accidents
There are many reasons why hit-and-run accidents occur. People leave the scene of an accident when they are drunk or high. Others leave because they fear being arrested or don’t have valid insurance or license. And sometimes people who are panicked and disoriented leave the scene of an accident to find their way home. Whatever the reason, leaving an accident violates California hit and run laws.
It is not uncommon for people to leave the scene of an accident simply to avoid dealing with the aftermath. But fleeing the scene of an accident will only make a bad situation worse and can lead to severe consequences. Hit and run charges in California can result in jail or prison time.
Crossing The Street In California: Is The Pedestrian At Fault In A Car Accident?
In some tragic hit and run California cases, people are struck while walking on the sidewalk or while walking in a parking lot, though the vast majority of pedestrian accidents take place when a person is crossing the street. All pedestrian street crossing accidents will fit into one of the following categories:
The person was crossing in a crosswalk
The first scenario is the most straightforward. Under Chapter 5 of the California Vehicle code, which outlines pedestrians’ rights and duties, pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing in marked crosswalks. This means that under California hit and run law, drivers have a legal duty to yield to pedestrians who are crossing into these established zones.
The person was crossing at an intersection, but not in a marked crosswalk
Contrary to what some drivers believe, this scenario is also relatively straightforward. Under California hit and run law, every intersection is a crosswalk, whether marked or not. Obviously it’s safer to cross in a crosswalk. However, the more rural the area, the less likely the intersection is to be painted as a crosswalk. Put simply, there are not enough resources in the state to mark the designated crosswalks at literally every intersection. If you are in a less traveled area, the intersection is unlikely to be marked with a crosswalk. However, that does not mean that the crosswalk is not there, at least in legal spirit. Pedestrians still have the right of way at intersections even if the crosswalk is not marked. Drivers in the state must yield to pedestrians whenever at intersections.
The person was crossing away from an intersection, not in a marked crosswalk
Finally, the third scenario is the most complex. Unsurprisingly, the harder hit and run charges in California involve a person is crossing in the middle of the street where it’s not an intersection. In these cases, drivers will be cut more slack, but they are by no means immune from liability. Quite the opposite, they still have a duty to operate their vehicle safely and avoid hitting crossing pedestrians to the very best extent that they can. The bottom line for these cases is that every case is different. Each has its own set of facts. Most cases are not 100% black and white.
Pedestrian Accident Liability in California
With California hit and run laws in mind, we will now consider pedestrian accident liability. In California, liability for an accident must be established under the state’s comparative fault rules. This standard has very important implications for pedestrians who were struck by motor vehicles.
More specifically, the state standard addresses two key issues:
How liability is attributed; and
How liability is apportioned.
First, any party whose unreasonably dangerous actions or inactions (negligence) contributed to an accident should be held liable for any resulting damages. Second, that liability will be divided in direct proportion to a party’s blame for the accident.
Apportioning liability made simple
In some cases, California hit and run apportioning liability is very simple; if a driver is at fault for 100 percent of the collision, then they will be assigned 100 percent of the liability. Yet, in more complex cases, liability for an accident may be split between two or more parties. This is a big concern in pedestrian accident cases because the big insurance companies often try to pin part of the blame for the crash on the injured pedestrian.
What if I’m hit while crossing an intersection at an unmarked crosswalk?
Pedestrian accidents still happen far too frequently in California. Indeed, California consistently leads the nation in total annual pedestrian fatalities. These serious accidents are by no means evenly distributed throughout the state; a highly disproportionate percentage of pedestrian accidents occur in heavily urbanized areas. This means that many communities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, are at especially high risk of pedestrian accidents.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you deserve full and fair compensation from the at fault driver. Though, legal liability for these accidents is certainly not always clear cut. One question that we are commonly asked: What if I’m hit at an intersection crossing the street at an unmarked crosswalk? Here, our experienced Bay Area hit by car attorney will discuss this question and explain your rights as well as your legal options should you be hit by a car while crossing the street
Could an Injured Pedestrian Really Be Blamed for Their Own Accident?
It is possible that a California pedestrian could be held partially (or fully) liable for their own injuries. This happens if a judge or jury determines that the pedestrian acted in an unsafe manner, thereby contributing to the crash. For example, if you ran across a busy street, while you were away from an intersection, at night, while wearing all black, then the court might decide that you were negligent. Of course, the overwhelming majority of pedestrian accidents do not involve a pedestrian doing anything wrong, especially not that unsafe.
If you are held partially liable for your own accident, your compensation will be dramatically reduced. Please do not let this happen to you.
Get in touch with the experienced California hit and run attorney Andy Gilllin to set up a free, no-obligation review of your claim. We will fight aggressively to protect you from getting pinned with an unfair share blame for the accident.
Contact a California Hit and Run Attorney Today
A GJEL hit and run attorney can help you get compensation if you are involved in a hit and run accident. California hit and run law is complicated, especially when it comes to insurance claims. Our lawyers have decades of experience filing hit and run claims and working with witnesses and police to get you the best settlement possible.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the costs to sue for hit and run in California?
We don’t charge unless you have a case, and no payment is required until we get your settlement for you. When a driver is apprehended for hit and run, California victims and grieving families have the right to file a civil claim for damages, but usually aren’t equipped for the process. GJEL has extensive experience with hit and run accidents and can represent you through all stages of your claim.
How long does a hit and run investigation take in California?
The hit and run law in California requires you to report a car accident within 24 hours, regardless of who was at fault. Most vehicle accidents, including hit and run, must be investigated within 10 days. But it may then take months for police to identify and locate the guilty driver.
Do police investigate minor hit and runs in California?
Most jurisdictions require that the police investigate hit and run offenses, including minor injuries or property damage. Police may view surveillance camera footage, interview eyewitnesses, and check local hospitals for injury reports. A hit and run car accident lawyer can help you assist law enforcement with that process.
How soon do you have to press charges for hit and run in California?
If your injury is not discovered during the incident, California hit and run laws give you one year from the date you discover the injury to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations expires two years after the date of injury. Consult an experienced California hit and run law attorney about these details of filing hit and run charges in California.
Can I claim compensation for a hit and run involving uninsured drivers?
Yes – California hit and run laws state that a hit-and-run driver or uninsured motorist may be liable for injuries or property damage. You may also be able to recover damages through uninsured driver, collision and comprehensive insurance if you have purchased that optional coverage.