Encino Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers
- Definition of a Hit-and-Run Accident Under California Vehicle Code § 20002
- Possible Punishments Under California Vehicle Code § 20002
- Possible Defenses Against Violations of California Vehicle Code § 20002
- Felony Hit-and-Run, California Vehicle Code § 20001
- California Jury Instructions for Felony Hit-and-Run Offenses
- Difference Between Criminal Charges and Civil Lawsuits in Hit-and-Run Cases
- Hit-and-Run Accident Statistics, Studies, and Victim’s Rights in California
- Ways That Safety Studies Are Suggesting to Reverse Hit-and-Run Trends
- Know What Your Rights Are Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
- Take the Time to Speak to the Best Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Encino
- Why Choose Arash Law?
- Reasons You Need an Encino Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
- Recovering Damages After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Concierge Law Firm Protecting the Injured
Encino is near a number of other popular neighborhoods in Los Angeles, including Tarzana, Sepulveda Basin, and Sherman Oaks, with Van Nuys, Reseda, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Studio City, Valley Village, and Valley Glen also being nearby. Mapping from the Los Angeles Times indicates Encino had a population of 44,581 according to the most recent estimate, with 80.1 percent of residents being white, 8.5 percent being Latino, 4.9 percent being Asian, and 2.4 percent being Black.
People who suffer catastrophic injuries or whose loved ones die in hit-and-run accidents in Encino or a surrounding community in Los Angeles County should immediately contact an Encino hit-and-run accident lawyer at Arash Law, founded by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., for help determining what their legal options will be. You can call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online to get a free consultation that will allow our firm to examine the details of your case better and help you explore what steps you can take.
A farm worker, suffered multiple broken bones and other orthopedic injuries resulting from an auto accident where the defendant driver attempted to make a left turn in front of our client in heavy fog.– ARASH KHORSANDI
Definition of a Hit-and-Run Accident Under California Vehicle Code § 20002
A driver must also leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or damaged property some kind of written notice that gives the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the circumstances, and they must also, without delay, notify the police department of the city where the collision occurred or, when a collision occurs in an unincorporated territory, the local headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol. Alleged offenders accused of committing hit-and-run accidents will have criminal cases in which a prosecutor must prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- An alleged offender drove and caused a motor vehicle accident.
- The accident caused damage to another party’s property.
- The alleged offender knew of their involvement in the accident that caused property damage, injury, or death.
- The alleged offender willfully failed to stop at the scene of their accident or provide an owner or person in control of damaged property with their name and current residence address.
Possible Punishments Under California Vehicle Code § 20002
Possible Defenses Against Violations of California Vehicle Code § 20002
Being charged with a hit-and-run offense is not the same as being convicted, and it may be possible for an alleged offender to argue that there was some kind of extenuating circumstance that justified their failure to stop at the scene of an accident. A few of the more common kinds of defense against hit-and-run charges include:
- An alleged offender was not aware they were involved in an accident – While most people are expected to notice when they cause collisions, there may be certain cases of minor accidents in which a person can credibly claim that they simply did not notice that they had struck another vehicle or other kind of property.
- There was no damage stemming from an accident – A driver may have known they caused an accident but concluded on their own inspection of the property involved that there was no damage and, thus, no need to exchange any information with another party.
- Emergency situations – People can avoid criminal penalties for hit-and-run offenses when they did not stop at the scene of the accident if they were in the middle of a personal emergency, such as when a person was driving to a hospital.
Felony Hit-and-Run, California Vehicle Code § 20001
Under California Vehicle Code § 20001(a), the driver of any motor vehicle that is involved in a motor vehicle accident causing injury to another person or the death of another person has a duty to immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of an accident and fulfill the requirements of California Vehicle Code § 20003 and California Vehicle Code § 20004. In most cases, violations are punishable by up to one year in state prison or county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
California Jury Instructions for Felony Hit-and-Run Offenses
California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) No. 2140 is the jury instructions for cases involving an alleged offender’s failure to perform their duty following an accident causing death or injury under California Vehicle Code § 20001, California Vehicle Code § 20003, and California Vehicle Code § 20004. A prosecutor must prove the following:
- The alleged offender was involved in an accident while driving.
- The alleged offender’s accident caused the death of or permanent, serious injury to another person.
- The alleged offender knew that they had been involved in an accident injuring another person or knew from the nature of the accident that it was likely that another person had suffered an injury.
- The alleged offender willfully failed to perform one or more of the following duties:
- Immediately stop at the scene of the accident
- Provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident
- Give to the person struck, the driver, or occupants of any vehicle collided with, or any peace officer at the scene of the accident, all of the following information:
- Their name and current residence address
- The registration number of the vehicle they were driving
- The name and current residence address of the owner of the vehicle if they are not the owner
- The names and current residence addresses of any occupants of their vehicle who suffered an injury in the accident
- When requested, show their driver’s license, if available, to the person struck, the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, or any peace officer at the scene of the accident
- Without unnecessary delay, notify either the police department of the city where the accident happened or the local headquarters of the California Highway Patrol if the accident happened in an unincorporated area.
Difference Between Criminal Charges and Civil Lawsuits in Hit-and-Run Cases
There are many important differences between criminal cases and civil ones. The biggest difference is the standard of proof in both cases, as a prosecutor in a criminal case must prove an alleged offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, one of the highest possible burdens to satisfy, while a victim in a civil case only needs to prove an alleged offender’s liability by a preponderance of the evidence, essentially meaning “more likely than not.”
Hit-and-Run Accident Statistics, Studies, and Victim’s Rights in California
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that 2,049 deaths during its most recent reporting period represented the most fatalities on record and were also a 60 percent increase over the past seven years. AAA also stated that more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every single minute on roads in the United States.
Insurance research and analysis website ValuePenguin also found that fatal hit-and-run accidents increased from 1,342 to 1,939 over the course of a decade, and the number of deaths increased 44 percent from 1,393 to 2,005. California accounted for the largest share of fatal hit-and-run accidents during this reporting period, with 17 percent of the nation’s total and 2,948 crashes causing 3,056 deaths.
Ways That Safety Studies Are Suggesting to Reverse Hit-and-Run Trends
Some of the most common problems inherent to hit-and-run crashes include:
- Driver impairment – California takes driving under the influence (DUI) offenses very seriously and is always discouraging people from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using drugs, but there remains a large segment of the population that ignores these requests and tries to operate motor vehicles. Drivers who are intoxicated are among the most likely to leave the scenes of accidents simply because they do not want to be charged with DUI.
- Distracted driving – Many drivers in California these days find it difficult outright to ignore their cell phones or other mobile devices, but distractions take many forms in this day and age. Despite frequent public service announcements (PSAs) about the dangers of distracted driving, there remains a considerable number of people who are still engaging in trying to drive while they are distracted.
- Speeding – The Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California Berkeley found that 9,378 people were killed in speeding-related traffic crashes during the most recent year, and 25.7 percent of the nation’s 36,560 motor vehicle fatalities were speeding-related. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) further reports that about 5 percent of pedestrians die when struck by vehicles traveling 20 mph at impact, about 40 percent die because of vehicles traveling 30 mph at impact, 80 percent at 40 mph, and almost 100 percent die when struck by vehicles traveling at speeds over 50 mph at impact.
- Medical treatment – State law in California makes a hit-and-run offense a crime when a person fails to render necessary assistance to a victim because a person who needs help and is denied any chance to get medical assistance can be much more likely to suffer severe injury complications or even death. These types of concerns mean that there is now a greater focus on ensuring that medical professionals are among the parties responding to initial traffic accident reports.
- Law enforcement and infrastructure – Two elements that state and local governments can invest in to help prevent hit-and-run accidents include their law enforcement efforts and resources dedicated to improving existing infrastructure. With regard to law enforcement, police officers can recognize behaviors that create risks of hit-and-run accidents, such as speeding or DUI, and stop alleged offenders before they cause accidents. When it comes to infrastructure, cities, counties, and other townships may have a duty to try and improve certain dangerous roads that create additional risks of causing motor vehicle accidents.
Know What Your Rights Are Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
Everybody can make better efforts to drive more defensively and protect themselves from being involved in motor vehicle crashes, but the truth remains that there is little most people can do to prevent negligence by other drivers. It is often one poor decision by another driver that can cause a collision.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents will face several immediate challenges to recovering appropriate damages from their crashes. The first and predominant concern is locating an alleged hit-and-run offender who has usually left the scene, but beyond that, even when a hit-and-run driver is found, whether that driver is going to have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for the damages a victim experiences.
Take the Time to Speak to the Best Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Encino
All people who suffer injuries in hit-and-run accidents have the right to seek financial compensation from negligent parties or their own insurance companies. Headed by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., Arash Law has decades of experience dealing with insurance companies, so we know how to negotiate these kinds of cases and help people recover every last dollar that is available to them.
Arash Law is led by famous lawyer Arash Khorsandi, Esq., and works tirelessly to help all kinds of accident victims get justice. You can take advantage of a free, no-risk case assessment that will allow us to understand your case better and outline how we can help you.
Why Choose Arash Law?
Managed and operated by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., Arash Law has decades of experience handling all kinds of motor vehicle accident cases, and our record of success includes more than $500 million recovered for our clients. Better yet, for you, we have a no-win, no-fee guarantee under which we do not charge you anything unless we settle or win your case.
Reasons You Need an Encino Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
While many hit-and-run accident victims immediately turn to police departments for help solving their cases, such agencies do have their limits, and not all of them can locate an alleged offender. When you hire a skilled hit-and-run accident lawyer in Encino, there is the chance that their own independent investigation of your accident can lead them to the negligent driver.
Settlement in a motor vehicle accident; client suffered internal injuries.– JUDD ROSS ALLEN
Recovering Damages After a Hit-and-Run Accident
The major problem in these cases can concern when a person’s damages exceed their policy limits, but insurers are reluctant to pay as much as people are entitled to even when they do not hit their limits. You will want to have an Encino hit-and-run accident lawyer negotiating with an insurance company on your behalf because many insurers know how to take advantage of people representing themselves, and studies have repeatedly shown that drivers handling their own insurance claims receive far less than those with legal representation.
What You Should Do After a Hit-And-Run Accident
Hit-and-run victims will need to take several important steps after an accident. You will want to do all of the following:
- Call 911 – Always make sure to call 911 and report your accident so you can immediately get law enforcement involved with your crash. You should also seek medical assistance for any person who suffered injuries.
- Seek medical attention – Many people receive emergency medical attention at the scene of an accident in cases of severe injuries. If you do not think your injuries were particularly serious or maybe even did not suffer any injuries, it is still a good idea to see a doctor just to be sure. Several serious injuries involve delayed symptoms, and you also want to create a medical record of your accident as soon as possible.
- Gather relevant evidence – Try to write down as many details as you can remember about the vehicle involved in your accident and what the driver looked like. Also, try to collect as much evidence as you can at the scene of your accident, such as pictures and videos of any vehicles involved, property damage, or other signs of an accident, such as skid marks.
- Report your accident – Your insurance company will likely require you to report your accident, even when you were not at fault. You should contact your insurance company and give them basic information, but avoid getting into any details. If the negligent driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not provide any statement until you have legal counsel from Encino hit-and-run accident lawyers. They can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
In many car accident cases, resolutions are achieved through settlements with insurance companies because most insurers do not want to pay the high costs of taking cases to trial. There can be cases, however, in which adequate settlement offers are never made, and lawsuits become necessary.
How Long Do You Have to Report a Hit-and-Run Accident in California?
The statute of limitations for hit-and-run accidents can be criminal or civil. The Judicial Branch of California website notes that the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is often two years, but Assembly Bill No. 184 modified the criminal statute of limitations such that hit-and-run offenses now have a limitations period of six years instead of three.
Contact a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Encino Today
When you or your loved one have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the greater Encino area of California, you are probably dealing with a lot of confusion and frustration. You should be focusing on your recovery and letting an experienced Encino hit-and-run accident lawyer handle all of the legal headaches for you.
Arash Law offers a complete team of dedicated legal professionals led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. The team will work non-stop for you to help identify a negligent driver, hold them accountable, and recover every single dollar to which you are entitled. Our firm understands the many challenges victims are facing in these circumstances, and we will work hard to make sure that your life can become much easier.
We represent clients in Encino and many other surrounding communities in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as several other cities all over California. You can call Arash Law, spearheaded by famous attorney Arash Khorsandi, Esq., at (888) 488-1391 or complete a contact form on our website to take the first steps to set up a completely free initial consultation so we can further discuss your case.
Our firm has served such communities as Calabasas, Glendale, Beverly Hills, Westlake Village, Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, West Hollywood, Malibu, San Fernando, El Segundo, Culver City, Inglewood, Burbank, Simi Valley, and Agoura Hills.