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Long Beach Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer

Legal Help for Long Beach Hit-and-Run Car Accident Victims

Southern California is famous for having huge amounts of traffic on its streets and freeways. Nearly everyone in the region spends a good part of their day driving. In such an environment, the risk of a traffic accident is just part of life. Traffic accidents are a complication that no one wants to deal with, but if you are involved in one, you are legally obligated to stop and contact emergency personnel if necessary. Fleeing the scene of an accident is dangerous and selfish. Unfortunately, California has more hit-and-run accidents than any other state. In fact, statistics show that nearly 10 percent of the state’s automobile fatalities are the result of hit-and-run accidents.

If you have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident, it’s important that you contact a Long Beach car accident attorney who has a successful track record handling these types of cases. The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV has many years of experience in these areas of practice and will personally become involved in your case. Call our Long Beach office today at (562) 901-0840 for a free case analysis and breakdown of your legal options.

What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?

California law requires that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident stop, locate the owner of the damaged vehicle or property, and exchange appropriate information, including name, address, and insurance documentation.

A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver involved in a collision flees the scene without stopping to provide necessary information or assistance to the other driver. This reckless behavior leaves victims in a vulnerable and often challenging position, as they are left to deal with the aftermath of the incident alone.

Typically, it’s the party at fault for the accident that flees. They may flee on foot, by vehicle, or attempt to conceal their identity in some way. These incidents happen in various settings, including on roadways, in parking lots, or even in residential areas.

Why Do People Flee the Scene of an Accident?

Doing the right thing by stopping to help those in need seems obvious. So why would someone flee the scene of an accident? Here are some reasons why:

Lack of insurance or valid identification: Some drivers may lack proper insurance coverage or valid identification and fear legal repercussions or financial penalties.

Unlawful behavior or intoxication: Drivers engaged in illegal activities, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, may be more inclined to flee to evade legal consequences, as will those operating unregistered or stolen vehicles, which is a lot more common than you may think.

Outstanding warrants or criminal history: Individuals with outstanding warrants or a history of criminal activity may be motivated to escape the scene to evade law enforcement scrutiny.

General anxiety or embarrassment: Some individuals may be driven by a sense of fear or embarrassment following an accident. Fear of judgment or not knowing how to handle the aftermath of a collision may lead them to flee.

What If I’m Injured in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in Long Beach?

Being involved in any type of accident is scary. Everyone involved should do their best to remain composed and follow these steps to ensure that safety and justice prevail to the fullest extent possible.

Ensure Safety at the Scene

First and foremost, ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Move your vehicle to a safe location if possible, turn on hazard lights, and set up warning devices. If you or anyone else is injured, call for emergency medical assistance immediately.

Report the Incident to Law Enforcement

Promptly report the hit-and-run incident to local law enforcement. Provide them with as much detail as possible, including the information gathered at the scene. A police report is a crucial document for both your insurance claim and potential legal action. Be cooperative with the authorities and obtain a copy of the filed report for your records at a later date.

Gather Evidence and Document the Scene

Documenting the accident scene is essential for building a strong case to protect yourself. Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle, any visible injuries, and the overall scene, including vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers. Note any skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signs. Collect contact information from witnesses and ask if they can provide additional details about the fleeing vehicle. Preserve any physical evidence, such as broken parts or debris, as it may assist in identifying the responsible party.

Seek Medical Attention and Documenting Injuries

Even if your injuries seem minor initially, it’s imperative to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and only a medical professional can assess your condition. Keep detailed records of all medical appointments, treatments, and expenses related to the hit-and-run accident.

Notify Insurance Companies

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the Long Beach hit-and-run incident. Provide them with the police report, photographic evidence, and any other relevant information. Be thorough in detailing the events surrounding the accident. Keep a record of all communication with your insurance company, including claim numbers and adjuster information. In addition, consult with a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.

Forms of Compensation That May Be Available After an Accident

Ultimately, the main goal of a personal injury claim is to help the injured person with enough money to cover losses from an accident. Many accidents have serious and long-lasting effects. For example, a bad crash can leave people with injuries like whiplash, brain damage, loss of a limb, or paralysis, greatly affecting their life. If someone else is responsible for these damages, it’s only fair that they are held accountable. Different forms of compensation that may be available after an accident include:

  • Medical expenses: Compensation for past, current, or future medical needs like treatment, surgery, or therapy.
  • Loss of income: Compensation for lost wages and the ability to earn in the future.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, or psychological anguish.
  • Wrongful death: Compensation awarded to the surviving family of victims.

How a Long Beach Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Can Help

Unfortunately, uninsured drivers are often financially unable to be held responsible for the damage and harm they cause. In these cases, you will find yourself seeking compensation from your own insurance company. Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company WILL NOT be on your side. For insurance adjusters, their priority is the company’s bottom line. They will try to get you to accept the lowest payout possible. This is why it is important to be represented by attorneys knowledgeable of California's uninsured motorist laws and insurance bad faith litigation.

Like the Southern California freeway system, the legal system can be tangled and confusing. For this reason, you need a strong and experienced advocate on your side. The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV is here to serve as your dedicated legal advocate and pursue your case tirelessly until you get the settlement you deserve. Call our Long Beach office today at (562) 901-0840 for a free consultation.

"Joseph, Thank you for your assistance. Your understanding compassion & incredible expertise are admired & appreciated. I will be referring any of my clients who require legal help to you."
- M.D.