The growing concern of hit-and-run accidents in CA

The number of hit-and-run accidents is rising across the U.S. and many states, including California, is strengthening its legislation.

Hit-and-run accidents in California and across the country are on the rise, and people are worried about the impact this may have on their ability to stay safe on the roads. Recent accounts of hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists litter the media, some resulting in fatalities and serious injuries. ABC 30 News describes the wreckage after a woman ran a stop sign and t-boned a vehicle that was traveling through the intersection. That vehicle contained a father and his two daughters. After the impact, the woman responsible for the traffic accident received aid from a man traveling behind her in another car. She then quickly fled the accident site. A 10-year-old girl was killed at the scene of the accident. Her father and 6-year-old sister were sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

A growing problem

Sadly, stories like this are all too common in California. AAA estimates that approximately one out of every five pedestrian deaths is caused by hit-and-run accidents. According to LA Weekly, 20,000 hit-and-run incidents occur in Los Angeles every year, and more than 4,000 of those accidents result in serious injuries or fatalities.

Those people who are lucky enough to survive a hit-and-run accident may be left with life-changing injuries, such as spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, amputations and even paralysis. One LA woman's life was transformed when she was hit by a car while crossing the street at a pedestrian crosswalk, according to LA Weekly. Not only did the accident shatter all of the bones in both of her legs, but it knocked out her teeth and snapped her jaw in two. They never caught the driver responsible for the collision. The young 25-year-old woman was left with permanent injuries and extensive medical bills, which required her to sell her home and give up her career.

What is being done?

Although most hit-and-run culprits are never apprehended, California has enacted stricter legislation for people found guilty of such an accident. The time limit allowed to find and charge drivers with a hit-and-run was increased to six years, according to LA Streets. Under California law, motorists who are involved in a motor vehicle accident are required to stop when:

  • The vehicle hits an object, animal or person.
  • The vehicle runs into a moving or parked car.
  • A person has been seriously injured or killed as a result of the accident.
  • The accident has caused property damage.

Motorists who flee the scene of an accident, which contained only property damage, may be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if anyone was killed or injured as a result of the accident, the suspect may be charged with a felony hit-and-run.

When to partner with an attorney

If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident and are not sure where to turn, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney in Santa Ana. Not only will an attorney provide you with personalized counsel, but they will help you understand your legal options.

Keywords: hit-and-run, accident, injury