San Diego Motorcycle Hit & Run Accident Attorneys
Motorcyclists Injured in San Diego Hit and Run Accidents
The sunny skies and warm weather of San Diego make our city ideal for riding a motorcycle. But motorcycling can be a dangerous endeavor, no matter how wonderful the weather is. The biggest danger to motorcycle riders on Southern California’s roadways is other drivers. San Diego County is full of drivers who speed, drive distracted (smart phones, eating, grooming, etc.), drive while impaired, fail to give motorcycles adequate space, or simply fail to see motorcycles.
A motorcycle accident can leave a rider with serious and even life-threatening injuries. In the event a motorcycle collision is caused by another driver’s negligence, a motorcyclist will typically receive compensation from the at fault party to aid in paying for any accident related losses. But what happens if the responsible party leaves the scene of the accident?
When one party involved in a traffic accident fails to stop, render aid, or accept responsibility for their part in the accident, it becomes classified as a "hit and run." There can be many reasons why a driver flees the scene of an accident, such as fear, panic, driving without a license or without insurance, driving while impaired, has outstanding warrants, or just wants to avoid responsibility. Regardless of a driver's motive, there is no acceptable reason to leave the scene of a motorcycle crash and abandon a potentially injured person. So, what recourse do you have if you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver and you’re facing mounting bills for medical care and repairs, and you’re losing money by missing work?
To learn more about your legal rights and options, you’ll need to consult an experienced San Diego hit and run accident attorney. The legal team at Jurewitz Law Group has been successfully representing Southern California injury victims for over 15 years. Call our skilled attorneys today for a free consultation at (888) 233-5020.
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California Hit and Run Law
Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal in the State of California. Even if a driver is not at fault for the accident, leaving the scene of that accident without providing the necessary information (name, address, insurance information, etc.) to the other parties involved or providing help to anyone who is injured, is still guilty of a hit and run. There are two types of hit and run crimes in California:
- California Vehicle Code 20002 is misdemeanor hit and run charge involving accidents that result in only property damage, not injury or death.
- California Vehicle Code 20001 is felony hit and run, involving accidents that do result in physical injury or death.
Misdemeanor hit and run is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. Felony hit and run is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and as much as four years in state prison.
Get Answers to Your Questions
What Exactly is a Hit and Run?
A hit and run occurs when a motorist flees the scene of an accident before the authorities arrive. According to California state law, when a motorist is involved in an accident, no matter how trivial, he or she must remain at the scene. If anyone at the scene is injured, the motorist must contact the appropriate medical response services. Drivers choose to flee the scene for a variety of reasons. Fear of prosecution, initial panic, lack of insurance, and intoxication are just a few of the most common reasons.
When a motorcycle and vehicle collide, the motorcyclist is more likely to sustain serious injury. This means that if a motorist flees, a severely injured motorcyclist can be left behind to fight for their life. No one should have to face this prospect, especially when another person caused the accident in the first place.
What Are the Consequences of Fleeing the Scene of an Accident?
Even if you are not at fault, the State of California requires you to remain until the authorities arrive. You can also be found guilty of hit and run if you leave the scene without providing the other person with relevant information, such as your name and car insurance information. Under California Vehicle Code 20001, a driver can face felony charges if he or she flees the scene of an accident where a person sustained physical harm. California Vehicle Code 20001 states that a driver can be charged with a misdemeanor if there are no injuries at the scene of the accident. If a driver is charged under the first code, a maximum of four years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines can be issued by a court.
I’m the Victim of a Hit and Run; Am I Entitled to Monetary Compensation?
If you are a motorcyclist who has been involved in an accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation if the motorist at fault fled the scene. Whether you receive compensation or not will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding the crash. By working with an experienced lawyer, you may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, loss of income, general expenses, and pain and suffering, but you must act fast. Even if the responsible driver cannot be identified or lacks insurance, your own insurance policy may be able to provide financial compensation. The amount of compensation that you receive will depend on the circumstances of the case.
What’s the Difference Between Criminal and Civil Hit and Run Charges?
Criminal and civil trials are always held separately. The criminal trial decides what sort of punishment the responsible party will face after fleeing an accident scene. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the responsible party can be fined, imprisoned, or forced to perform community service. No financial compensation is awarded during a criminal trial. In a civil trial, you will make a claim against the responsible party in order to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Even if the driver is not found guilty of criminal charges, you can still file a civil claim.
What To Do Following a San Diego Hit and Run Accident
If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, it is important to act quickly. Contacting law enforcement with a description of the offending vehicle (make, model, year, color, license plate number, etc.) while it is still in the vicinity increases the likelihood that police can identify and capture the driver. Also try to find witnesses to the accident, they may have noticed a detail about the other vehicle that you missed.
A hit and run driver can face criminal charges and also a civil lawsuit. Many times the only way to get compensation for your losses is to file civil charges.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Losses After a Hit and Run
A victim of a hit and run collision may feel their situation is hopeless because the at fault driver fled the accident scene, thus eliminating their chance for obtaining compensation. This is not necessarily the case. Our skilled San Diego personal injury lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and attempt to identify the driver and prove that their negligence is what caused the accident. If the other driver cannot be identified, we can help you get compensation from your own uninsured motorist coverage.
But don’t let your insurance company dictate the settlement you receive, they are more concerned with their bottom line than they are with your welfare. This is another reason to have a skilled San Diego motorcycle accident attorney at Jurewitz Law Group negotiate on your behalf.
Contact a San Diego Motorcycle Hit and Run Accident Victim Lawyer at Jurewitz Law Group Today
Being in a motorcycle accident is never a pleasant experience, especially when the party responsible for your injuries and property loss cannot be found. But don’t despair, you do have options. Call Jurewitz Law Group at (888) 233-5020 for a free case evaluation.
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Call the Jurewitz Law Group at (619) 233-5020 and begin your path to recovery with a no-cost consultation today.