Santa Barbara Hit-And-Run Accident Attorneys

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Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara in California and had a population of 88,665, according to the 2020 United States Census. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and is served by several major roadways, including California State Route 1 (SR 1), California State Route 192 (SR 192), and United States Route 101 (US 101).

Santa Barbara is commonly referred to as The American Riviera because of its similarities to the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur. Both the pier area and State Street make Santa Barbara a very walkable city.

While Santa Barbara can be very pedestrian-friendly, the city certainly has its fair share of motor vehicle traffic. When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, California state laws dictate that drivers are expected to stop their cars, provide their identifying information to victims, and render any assistance that might be required.

When a driver does not stop at the scene of a crash, it is known as a hit-and-run accident. Hit-and-run collisions are not just limited to pedestrians, however, as many people in other motor vehicles can also be involved in accidents in which the other driver simply flees the scene of a crash.

Leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident in California constitutes a criminal offense, and an alleged offender in these cases can face misdemeanor charges in less serious cases and felony charges when they cause injuries or death. Convictions can carry many other additional consequences for negligent drivers, including possible points being added to a driving record, increased insurance rates, and a possible loss of driving privileges.

Anybody who suffers injuries in a hit-and-run accident will want to be sure to speak to a Santa Barbara hit-and-run attorney as soon as possible. Arash Law, headed by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., regularly helps all kinds of injury victims throughout California, including Santa Barbara, and we can work to make sure that you can recover every last dollar of compensation that is available to you in your case.

Car Accident
$6,000,000.00
Our client was driving with his wife and son on a two-lane highway when a drunk driver crossed the double yellow lines, causing a head-on collision that claimed the life of a loving wife and mother.
–  Arash Khorsandi

How Common Are Hit-and-Run Accidents in California?

According to the insurance research and analysis website ValuePenguin, the total number of fatal hit-and-run accidents went from 1,342 to 1,939 during the last decade, and deaths from these accidents increased by 44 percent, from 1,393 to 2,005. California had the highest number of fatal hit-and-run accidents during the reporting period, having 17 percent of the total in the United States, with 2,948 crashes causing 3,056 deaths.

The rate of fatal hit-and-runs per 10 billion miles in California was 8.8, with 104 deaths per 100 crashes. ValuePenguin reported that 25 to 34-year-olds were the age group most likely to be killed in hit-and-run accidents, with 687 drivers in this age group killed in hit-and-run accidents.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also reported 2,049 deaths stemming from hit-and-run accidents, and this figure was the highest number on record, as well as a 60 percent increase over the past seven years. AAA said that more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on roads in the United States.

While leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident causing only property damage is usually a misdemeanour, a crash causing injuries or death is typically a felony. There are numerous reasons drivers may flee the scene of these crashes, including a person not having automobile insurance, not having a valid driver’s license, or possibly being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when a crash occurred.

Some of the most common injuries a personal injury attorney can help you claim compensation in hit-and-run accidents:

California State Law for Hit-and-Run Accidents

California Vehicle Code § 20002 is the state law establishing that a person driving a motor vehicle involved in an accident causing injury or death to another person has a duty to immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident and fulfill the requirements of California Vehicle Code § 20003 and California Vehicle Code § 20004. This law applies whether a person is involved in an accident causing only property damage, injury, or death.

This section of the vehicle code states that such a driver must immediately stop their vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. Having done so, the driver must immediately do either of the following:

  • Locate and notify either the owner or the person in charge of any damaged property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle involved and, upon locating the driver of any other motor vehicle involved or the owner or person in charge of any other kind of damaged property, and upon request, present their driver’s license and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of the property. The information presented must include the current residence address of the driver and the registered owner. When the registered owner of an involved vehicle is present at the scene, they must also, upon request, present their driver’s license information or other valid identification to the other involved parties.
  • Leave a written notice on a motor vehicle or damaged property giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the circumstances thereof and must without delay notify a police department of the city where a collision occurred or if a collision occurs an unincorporated territory, the local headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
Failure to abide by these steps can constitute a criminal offense, and a driver can face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the damage caused.
Emperatriz Ayala
Emperatriz Ayala
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My husband had an accident 2 years ago, a 85 years old man hit him, the Arash law group works very well on my husband case that took 9 month and he won the case and my husband was happy with the results. A year later I got into an accident as well and I’m still waiting in my case is almost resolving and it’s 9 months already. This people knows the law and they do their job right to help you out in getting the most for you to fight on your behalf. I strongly recommend the Arash Law firm they do things right in a efficient and professional manner.
Chris Zavala
Chris Zavala
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Had a great experience with all the people at Arash law. Long story short was in a bad car accident. It was overwhelming and the whole process was a lot, but they kept me in the loop. They answered all my questions and gave me great advice. Couldn't be any happier. Would definitely recommend anyone looking for a personal injury lawyer. They'll guide you through the whole process!
Jill Smith
Jill Smith
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Having Arash Law handle my auto accident was the best decision I could have made. Everyone I interacted with was kind, professional and detail oriented. I am extremely happy with the outcome and would recommend them highly.
Joseph R. Porter
Joseph R. Porter
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From start to finish, Arash Law firm is there every step of the way with close, constant, personal contact and attention. I never knew a Law firm could actually care so much for me as a person and what I was personally going through as well as the settlement I was going to recieve once my case was finally completed. Thank you to everyone at Arash Law for your ongoing support and communication. You are the ONLY firm I will ever recommend to someone who is need of a great attorny.
Monica Parra
Monica Parra
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I had an excellent experience with Arash Law. I will definitely recommend to my family and friends. I interviewed a few firms before deciding to work with Arash Law. What made my experience excellent was (i.e. head attorney being accessible to talk to and he answered all my questions and concerns, sensitive and thorough personel who completed in home intake & follow up process, being connected immediately to quality Physicians who addressed my injuries and recovery process, clear contract-read throughly to ensure its something you can commit to). Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience and I had a sense of peace knowing Arash Firm was walking with me throughout the whole process. Thank you Arash Firm for all your hard work and help. I am so grateful and appreciative for you all! 🙏 With Gratitude, Monica Parra
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California Hit-and-Run Penalties

When a hit-and-run accident causes only property damage, the negligent driver may face misdemeanor charges punishable by:

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Fine of up to $1,000
  • Restitution to victims for property damage
  • 2 points on California driving record

Certain injury cases might also result in misdemeanor charges, but penalties for such incidents can involve:

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Fine of up to $10,000
  • Restitution to victims for property damage
  • 2 points on California driving record

Many other injury or death cases result in felony charges that can result in such penalties as:

  • Up to four years in state jail
  • Fine of up to $10,000
  • Restitution to victims for property damage
  • 2 points on California driving record
Leaving the scene of an accident in California also has the potential to result in the revocation of a person’s driver’s license. It is important to remember that many insurance companies will not cover damages stemming from hit-and-run accidents, meaning that a negligent driver may have to pay all civil damages awarded in such cases completely out of their own pockets.
Why You Should Never Chase a Perpetrator

Following a hit-and-run accident, many people are tempted to chase after a negligent driver to try and confront them. Doing so is always a mistake and something that nobody should ever do. As a victim, you should always remain at the scene of your crash. Try to record all information you can remember about the negligent driver’s vehicle and then provide that information to law enforcement, who will make an effort to locate the driver themselves.

Again, a person who leaves the scene of a motor vehicle accident in California commits a criminal offense. A law enforcement agency will do its best to try to apprehend the negligent driver and then file criminal charges.

Victims need to keep in mind that a criminal case will be completely separate from their own civil action following one of these incidents. This distinction is important because there may be cases in which a negligent driver can earn an acquittal or dismissal of criminal charges, but they can still be held civilly liable.

A good example of this dynamic is the infamous case of O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty of murdering both his wife, Nicole Brown, and her companion, Ronald Goldman. A civil jury later found Simpson liable for the wrongful death of and battery against Goldman and battery against Brown, ordering him to pay $33.5 million in damages.

How Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance Works in California

Uninsured and underinsured automobile insurance is a kind of add-on coverage for many drivers in California, and the two policies provide different forms of coverage. Uninsured policies allow people to recover damages when another party has no automobile insurance, and underinsured coverage will apply in cases in which the other driver does not have enough insurance coverage to cover all of a victim’s losses adequately.

Both uninsured and underinsured coverage are optional policies, so nobody is required to buy it, although many people take out such policies to protect themselves further. While people who carry one or both policies believe that they are in a safer spot because their own insurance company will be compensating them, you should not be fooled.

All insurance companies have a commitment only to their bottom lines, meaning they are always seeking ways to minimize their payments, even when they are to their own customers. You will always want to make sure you are working with a Santa Barbara hit-and-run lawyer any time you are dealing with an insurance company, even your own insurer, after a hit-and-run accident.

What People Should Do After a Driver Flees the Scene

You should always call the police following any hit-and-run accident and then provide law enforcement with all the information you have about a negligent driver. You then have to wait for the police to try and catch the other driver.

There is always the possibility that the other driver may never be found, and then you will be on your own to recover damages to cover your many expenses stemming from the hit-and-run accident, which can include property damage to your motor vehicle, medical bills, and lost wages. In many cases, people will try to seek these amounts from their own insurance companies.

Your insurance company may express a willingness to settle your case immediately and may present you with a lump-sum offer, but you should question whether you are really getting everything you will need and deserve. Chances are very likely that you are getting a very lowball offer that will only leave you needing more money later on with no additional options for seeking legal recourse.

Always let a Santa Barbara hit-and-run attorney handle all conversations with insurance companies on your behalf because they will know how to speak to agents and ensure that you can recover appropriate compensation for your losses. You should never agree to provide a recorded statement or sign any kind of paperwork until you have legal representation.

Defenses in Santa Barbara Hit-and-Run Cases

Hit-and-run drivers can sometimes avoid criminal penalties through several possible defense claims. Some of the most common defenses that have proven successful in these cases include:

  • The driver did not know they caused injury or property damage – It is always possible that a negligent driver might claim that they were unaware of the fact that they struck another person or property.
  • The driver was responding to an emergency – A negligent driver can claim they were dealing with a medical emergency that prevented them from stopping.
  • The vehicle owner was not the driver – It is always possible after police locate the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident that the owner of that vehicle might argue they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the collision. Such a claim can release an owner from liability, although they may still have to supply the name of the person who was driving when that party was known (the driver may be unknown if the vehicle was stolen).
  • The driver suffered from involuntary intoxication – A negligent driver might claim that they were unknowingly suffering the effects of a drug or beverage that impacted their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Santa Barbara Hit-and-Run Attorney

Our award-winning injury firm fully understands the confusion and fear that many hit-and-run victims are dealing with after their accidents, and we make it a point to be there to help people overcome every single obstacle they encounter in their attempted recoveries. We have handled scores of motor vehicle accident cases throughout California, so we know how to help every kind of injury victim obtain all of the damages to which they are entitled.

Arash Law, led by famous attorney Arash Khorsandi, has more than a half-century of experience in personal injury cases, and we know how to work closely with respected medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts to get real answers in these cases that help us prove our cases in court. When you work with our firm, you can rest easy knowing that you will have somebody on your side who will have a commitment to ensuring that you can recover every last dollar of compensation that is available to you.

What Our Clients Say About Us.
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Arash is a great person and a great lawyer.
He keeps you up to date and takes the time to answer all and any questions you can have for him, no matter how long it takes, which I love...
- King S.
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The best experience I ever had with an attorney.
They are really great! I worked with other attorneys in the past and never received this type of professional representation...
- Lene B.
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Thanks for all the help Mr. Khorsandi!
I really appreciate your ability to explain things and help me understand the complex world of Law...
- Walt R
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This is more than 5 star service.
They really commit to your case and get the best results for you. Always kept you informed every step of the way...
- Melaiza H
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It was the best decision I could have made to call you guys first.
Thank you to the best lawyers of Arash Law for being so professional, kind, helpful and honest with me...
- Sergio L.
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Truly the best law practice around!
They are a fully staffed office and the guy handling my case was a former insurance adjustor...
- Ballet C.
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Arash is a great person and a great lawyer.
He keeps you up to date and takes the time to answer all and any questions you can have for him, no matter how long it takes, which I love...
- King S.
Yelp Rating
The best experience I ever had with an attorney.
They are really great! I worked with other attorneys in the past and never received this type of professional representation...
- Lene B.
Google Rating
Thanks for all the help Mr. Khorsandi!
I really appreciate your ability to explain things and help me understand the complex world of Law...
- Walt R
Yelp Rating
This is more than 5 star service.
They really commit to your case and get the best results for you. Always kept you informed every step of the way...
- Melaiza H
Google Rating
It was the best decision I could have made to call you guys first.
Thank you to the best lawyers of Arash Law for being so professional, kind, helpful and honest with me...
- Sergio L.
Google Rating
Truly the best law practice around!
They are a fully staffed office and the guy handling my case was a former insurance adjustor...
- Ballet C.
Yelp Rating

Dedicated Advocates for Santa Barbara Hit-and-Run Victims

As soon as you contact Arash Law, founded by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. about a hit-and-run accident, our firm will immediately commence our own independent investigation into the crash to get all of the details right about the collision and secure important evidence. We can obtain a copy of the accident report, accurately diagram the accident scene, get photographs of your accident scene, examine the vehicle title and equipment history, secure witness statements, and obtain all event data recorder (EDR or Black Box) data.

While many people initially think they do not need legal counsel to handle a hit-and-run accident because the fault will be clear, you should avoid this line of thought. Remember that insurance companies will all be working against you and will do whatever they can to help limit what they have to pay you.

You will always give yourself the best chance of recovering as much as possible when you work with our firm. You can call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation so you can discuss your case with a Santa Barbara hit-and-run accident attorney.

Our firm not only serves clients involved in hit-and-run accidents in Santa Barbara but also many other surrounding communities such as Thousand Oaks, Goleta, Lompoc, Isla Vista, Taft, Carpinteria, Westlake Village, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Port Hueneme, Santa Maria, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Camarillo, and Moorpark.

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