A hit-and-run occurs when one or more drivers who are involved in an accident fail to provide personal information or aid to others who were involved in that accident. Hit-and-runs are criminal offenses in California, and they can be charged as either a misdemeanor for property damage or as a felony when another person has been injured.
California Hit-and-Run Statistics
The hit-and-run numbers in Los Angeles can only be described as appalling. As per the California Highway Patrol, about half of all accidents in Los Angeles County are hit-and-runs. More than 25,000 of such accidents occur every year. That translates into about one hit-and-run every 18 minutes, and about 4,000 victims being injured or killed annually. Police in and around Los Angeles only solve less than 10% of all hit-and-runs. Even when the guilty drivers are found, many of them have little or no insurance.
Why Do Drivers Leave Accident Scenes?
The primary reason why drivers hit and then run is that they simply don’t have a driver’s license. If they did have one, it was either suspended or revoked. Another reason why they flee is that they’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. A third reason why they leave accident scenes is that the driver either knows or believes that he or she is the subject of an outstanding criminal warrant. Then, there are those drivers who just don’t care.
Hit-and-Runs Involving Motorcycles
A hit-and-run involving a motorcycle in motion is likely to be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating for a motorcyclist. These types of crashes typically result in far more serious injuries than most other motor vehicle crashes. Those injuries might include the following:
- Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
- Traumatic or surgically necessary amputations.
- Multiple fractures and dislocations.
- Organ damage.
- Road rash with infection.
- Wrongful death
Can I Recover Damages If I Was the Injured Victim of a Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Crash?
Assuming that you have the appropriate insurance coverage, you can indeed seek compensation for the injuries and damages that you suffered as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a hit-and-run driver. If you were covered by uninsured motorist insurance at the time of your crash, that’s what your claim would be brought under.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Although liability insurance is required for anybody who is behind the wheel on a California roadway, uninsured motorist insurance isn’t part of the mandatory insurance package. It’s separate coverage with a separate premium, and the general rule is that it covers an insured person. so long as there is contact between the uninsured driver’s vehicle and the insured rider’s motorcycle.
A Recent Hit-and-Run Fatality
Given the exposure and vulnerability to injuries or death that motorcyclists might be confronted with, we recommend that you carry as much uninsured motorist insurance that you can afford. Here’s an example of why. A few days ago, a 68-year-old motorcyclist died in a crash on the southbound 405 freeway near Roscoe Boulevard after being hit by a Range Rover. The driver of the Range Rover fled the scene. The crash remains under investigation. The victim’s family appears to have a valid wrongful death uninsured motorist claim with his insurance company.
Contact a Los Angeles Motorcycle Attorney Today
Like the contact rule, there are many other defenses that you can expect your insurance company to raise in the event of a crash that was caused by a hit-and-run driver. Don’t give your insurance company a statement of any kind before you speak with us. You’ll be in need of an experienced, aggressive, and successful Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer. After reporting your crash to the police and your insurance company, contact our offices to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation.