Personal Injury Lawyer & Car Accident Gold Firm

Best California Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer

Hit-and-run car accidents in California can be a devastating blow that goes beyond the realm of regular car accidents. When a negligent driver flees the scene, the aftermath extends far beyond property damage and physical injuries; it shatters lives and leaves victims grappling with an overwhelming sense of injustice, and unjust financial responsibilities.

In the chaotic aftermath of a hit-and-run, pedestrians, drivers, passengers, and bicyclists are left to contend with the aftermath of a California car accident alone, often wondering who to hold accountable.

When a hit-and-run car accident occurs, it leaves victims burdened with medical bills, lost wages, and profound emotional suffering. The statistics surrounding hit-and-runs are alarming, especially for California residents, as car accident statistics show that the state has the highest rate of deadly crashes involving hit-and-runs over the past decade .

According to Value Penguin, 3,348 of the 33,252 deadly crashes in California from 2012-2021 involved hit-and-runs, accentuating the severity of the issue. In such instances, the perpetrators not only evade legal consequences but also deny victims closure, justice, and financial compensation.

In California, hit-and-run accidents are a burden that surpasses mere statistics. At the Gold Firm, we recognize the profound frustration and consequences that hit-and-run accidents can inflict on individuals and families across California.

The aftermath of such hit-and-run car accidents can be overwhelming, leaving victims grappling with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. However, amidst the chaos and despair, we are here to provide support and legal guidance for those seeking justice.

Our dedicated team understands the intricacies of navigating the legal system in the wake of a hit-and-run, and we are committed to advocating on behalf of victims during hit-and-run lawsuits. Contact a hit-and-run attorney near you at the Gold Firm to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing justice and compensation.

California Hit and Run Car Accident Laws

Understanding hit-and-run laws pertaining to car accidents in California is important for both drivers and victims involved in motor vehicle accidents.

Laws pertaining to hit-and-run car accidents in California outline specific responsibilities for drivers involved in accidents resulting in property damage or personal injury. Depending upon the severity of the hit-and-run accident, it may be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 20002, a misdemeanor hit-and-run occurs when a driver fails to stop after causing property damage, and mandates actions such as providing the other driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist with:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Insurance information

Failure to comply can result in fines or imprisonment for up to six months.

On the other hand, California Vehicle Code Section 20001, covers felony hit-and-runs, which involve injury or death. In such cases, drivers must:

  • Stop immediately
  • Offer aid to the injured
  • Provide necessary documentation to authorities

Felony hit-and-runs carry more severe penalties, reflecting the gravity of the injuries and the offense.

Prosecuting a hit-and-run driver depends on whether the victim can provide evidence of direct involvement in the accident, which underscores the intricate legal complexities of these incidents.

Contacting a California hit-and-run car accident lawyer at the Gold Firm is a smart decision, as we are well-versed in California’s hit-and-run laws and are dedicated to providing legal guidance to car accident victims.

What to Do After a California Hit and Run Accident

When involved in a hit-and-run accident in California, swift action is crucial, as the negligent driver often leaves the scene with the evidence you need. Recognizing the occurrence of a hit-and-run and understanding the steps to take afterward is important when pursuing hit-and-run lawsuits.

  1. Call 911 Or Local Police Department
    – Contacting the authorities immediately is essential, as well as legally required. Notifying the police ensures that the scene is documented, evidence is collected, and a detailed police report is created. Calling the police also provides evidence of a hit-and-run car accident victim’s innocence. Insurance companies may attempt to shift blame onto victims to reduce claim values, making a police report an important part of protecting their rights. A skilled California hit-and-run car accident lawyer at the Gold Firm will utilize all collected evidence to establish the victim’s innocence, safeguarding their legal interests.
  2. Gather As Much Evidence As Possible
    – In a hit-and-run scenario, gathering as much information as possible is essential in order to hold the responsible driver accountable. Looking for details are important, such as the fleeing vehicle’s:
    • Damage
    • Make
    • Model
    • Color
    • License plate number
    • Direction of departure
    • Photographic evidence
    • Eyewitness testimonies
  3. Ask For Surveillance Footage
    – Seeking nearby surveillance footage and obtaining a copy of the police report further supplies evidence to prove the hit-and-run driver’s fault.
  4. Seek Medical Attention
    – Seeking immediate medical attention is very important, even in the absence of visible injuries. The force of impact in car accidents can cause internal injuries with delayed symptoms due to the rush of adrenaline caused by the accident. Be sure to also check any children for injuries – even if you were following California car seat laws. Going to the emergency department or scheduling a prompt medical evaluation to prevent life-threatening conditions could save your life. Documenting injuries and symptoms also establishes a medical record crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings, ensuring compensation for physical and emotional suffering.

Skilled California car accident lawyers and motorcycle accident attorneys at the Gold Firm can adeptly navigate the complexities of hit-and-run cases, compiling comprehensive evidence to support victims’ claims and uphold their rights.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Hit & Run in California?

The statute of limitations on a hit-and-run accident in California is six years.

The statute of limitations in California applies to both misdemeanor and felony hit-and-run charges under Vehicle Code 20002 VC or a felony hit-and-run under Vehicle Code 20001 VC. In the context of hit-and-run accidents in California, Assembly Bill 184 was signed into law in 2014, and the statute of limitations was extended to six years.

Before AB 184, the SOL for hit-and-run charges stood at three years, no matter if the accident was classified as a misdemeanor or felony. This extended time frame offers victims of hit-and-run accidents in California a broader window within which to pursue legal recourse and seek justice for the harm inflicted upon them. However, the importance of timely legal action and awareness of legal rights to pursue compensation in a hit-and-run lawsuit cannot be understated.

The statute of limitations (SOL) sets the timeframe within which victims can pursue legal action can be pursued against individuals for committing a crime or causing harm. Once this designated period elapses, individuals who have committed a crime or caused harm to another cannot be charged or sued for the incident.

The statute of limitations was enacted to play a vital role in the legal system by providing a framework within which legal actions must be initiated. Its importance lies in the protection it affords to potential defendants against unfair or untimely legal proceedings. As time passes, the probability of essential evidence being lost, obscured, or unattainable increases, while the recollection of witnesses may fade or become less reliable. Therefore, statutes of limitations ensure that legal actions are brought forward in a timely manner, promoting fairness and efficiency in the legal process.

However, it’s important to note that California Penal Code 799 does state that certain crimes are exempt from the statute of limitations, notably those punishable by death, offenses involving:

These exceptions underscore the gravity of such offenses and the enduring the pursuit of justice to hold individuals accountable for these actions.

How a Hit and Run Lawsuit Works in California

A hit-and-run lawsuit in California is a multifaceted legal process aimed at providing justice and compensation to victims for lost wages, medical bills, and non-economical damages.

In the beginning of a hit-and-run lawsuit involves obtaining a San Bernardino police report on the hit-and-run accident, establishing an official record of the event, and gathering crucial evidence at the scene. Seeking immediate medical attention is equally important, not only for personal well-being but also to document injuries, so that they can be proved in court.

If a hit-and-run victim needs assistance, they can contact a California hit-and-run attorney to assist them, which also flows into the next step of the process. Consulting with a seasoned California hit-and-run attorney at this juncture is very influential in hit-and-run lawsuits, given California’s nuanced legal landscape and comparative negligence laws. A California hit-and-run attorney will continue the hit-and-run lawsuit by:

  • Collecting Evidence & Investigating the Crash
    – Conducting a thorough investigation is part of a California hit-and-run attorney’s job. By gathering evidence from various sources such as surveillance footage, witness testimonies, and police reports they can prove negligence or liability in a hit-and-run lawsuit.
  • Insurance Claim Litigation
    – They will assist with the legal process of pursuing compensation through a victim’s insurance policies, especially if they have uninsured motorist coverage in the event the at-fault driver remains unidentified. That’s why is important to understand the difference between collision insurance vs. comprehensive coverage and if you need comprehensive coverage in California.
  • Filing A Hit And Run Lawsuit
    – If the at-fault driver is identified, the attorney will proceed to file a hit-and-run lawsuit, seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and emotional suffering.
  • Undergoing Discovery Process
    – The discovery process ensues after a hit-and-run lawsuit has been file. The discovery process allows both parties to exchange information and evidence pertinent to the case, paving the way for settlement negotiations or trial proceedings.
  • Negotiating Settlements
    – Settlement negotiations are a part of the legal process where California hit-and-run accident lawyers try to reach a fair resolution that adequately compensates the victim for their losses and injuries. In instances where an amicable settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine liability and calculate appropriate damages. Throughout this arduous process, skilled legal counsel plays a pivotal role in advocating for the victim’s rights, navigating complex legal procedures, and ensuring that justice is served.

Ultimately, the main purpose of a hit-and-run lawsuit in California involves the collection of compensation, and providing closure and financial relief to victims amidst the challenges posed by these California hit-and-run accidents.

Contact a California Hit and Run Attorney Near You

At the Gold Firm, our dedicated team is committed to supporting you every step of the way through the complexities of the consequences of a hit-and-run, even if you experienced a left turn accident in San Bernardino.

An experienced hit-and-run attorney from our team will tirelessly fight for your rights to fair compensation, whether through negotiations with your insurance company or by diligently proving the fault of the negligent driver. And as a trusted San Bernardino no win, no fee lawyer, you don’t pay unless you win your case. 

We understand the challenges and emotional toll associated with hit-and-run accidents, and we are here to provide knowledgeable legal guidance and advocacy throughout the process to ensure that your interests are protected and that you receive the justice and restitution you deserve.