Santa Maria Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys

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AWARD-WINNING HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS Turning Injured Victims Into Victors in Santa Maria

Santa Maria is the most populous city in Santa Barbara County, located about 65 miles northwest of Santa Barbara and 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is situated near California’s Central Coast. If you’re ever involved in a hit-and-run accident in Santa Maria, you’ll want to contact experienced Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys as soon as possible. These attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Santa Maria is perhaps best known for its connection to the wine industry, with numerous vineyards, wineries, winemakers and Santa Maria-style barbecue that focuses on beef tri-tip. Other attractions in the city include the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, the DANA Adobe & Cultural Center (“Casa de Dana”), the Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA), the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, and Los Flores Ranch Park.

The United States Census reports that Santa Maria had a population of 109,711 as of July 1, 2021, with 76.7 percent of residents being Hispanic or Latino, 15.4 percent being white, 12.7 percent being two or more races, 4.9 percent being Asian, 1.3 percent being Black or African-American, and 1.0 percent being American Indian and Alaska natives. The population was 50.6 percent female, with 10.3 percent being 65 years of age or older, 31.1 percent being under 18 years of age, and 10.0 percent being under 5 years of age.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports that the biggest employers in Santa Maria include Hardy Diagnostics, Manzanita Berry Farms, Marian Regional Medical Center, and Safran Cabin. Santa Maria Regional Transit (SMRT) is the local bus service in Santa Maria, providing service to surrounding communities in Santa Barbara County.

If you suffer serious injuries or your loved one dies in a hit-and-run accident in Santa Maria or another nearby community in Santa Barbara County, you will want to work with our Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys at Arash Law, founded by famous attorney Arash Khorsandi, Esq.

 You can call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online for a free consultation that will allow us to take a longer look at your case and explain all the legal options you might have.

Car Accident

$4,100,000.00

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

Santa Maria Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), Santa Maria had 459 people killed or injured in traffic accidents, and the city ranked ninth in crashes involving pedestrians less than 15 years of age with eight and 15th in alcohol-involved crashes with 62. The city also had 430 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI), 93 speed-related crashes, and 54 hit-and-run accidents.

KEYT-TV reported that the Santa Maria Police Department said that 344 car crashes during one recent year marked a 30 percent increase from the year before, and the city was increasing traffic patrols. While accidents were occurring all over Santa Maria, they were more common on busier streets such as Betteravia, Broadway, Main Street, and Donovan, with a majority of accidents happening between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) shows that Santa Maria had 352 total crashes in the most recent year, resulting in two people killed and 486 injured. In addition to the two fatal accidents (0.57 percent), 22 (or 6.25 percent) were categorized as severe injury crashes, 92 (or 26.14 percent) were other visible injury crashes, and 236 (or 67.05 percent) were complaints of pain crashes.

The crashes included 26 bicycle crashes (7.4 percent), 17 pedestrian crashes (4.8 percent), and 12 motorcycle crashes (3.4 percent). The most common causes of these crashes included 92 unsafe speeds (26.51 percent), 72 automobile right of way (20.75 percent), 50 people being under the influence of alcohol or a drug (14.41 percent), 48 traffic signals and signs (13.83 percent), 38 improper turnings (10.95 percent), and 15 unsafe starting or backing (4.32 percent).

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that a hit-and-run crash happens every single minute on roads in the United States. AAA said that the 2,049 deaths resulting from hit-and-run crashes during the most recent reporting period were the most on record and were also a 60 percent increase over the past seven years.

Why Drivers Commit Hit-and-Run Offenses

The reasons why a driver might decide to leave the scene of an accident instead of exchanging their information as is required under state law can vary depending on the circumstance. While no reason for leaving an accident scene is ever a good reason, some can be more understandable in certain situations.

It is crucial for victims to remember that hit-and-run drivers can be a wide swath of possible members of the general public. Whether the driver was a frightened teenager, a possible drunk driver, or a confused senior citizen, every hit-and-run driver can still be accountable for not fulfilling their obligations following a crash under state law.

Common reasons people might leave the scenes of traffic accidents can include, but are not limited to:

  • An alleged offender is in violation of California DUI laws.
  • An alleged offender does not have a valid driver’s license or applicable car insurance.
  • An alleged offender has an active warrant or is currently wanted by the police.
  • An alleged offender is in the United States illegally.
  • An alleged offender simply panicked.
  • An alleged offender’s vehicle is stolen.
  • An alleged offender has illegal drugs or guns on them.
  • An alleged offender is in a company vehicle and trying to avoid employment complications.
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 Laws

California Vehicle Code § 20002 is the state law establishing that any person driving a motor vehicle involved in an accident causing injury or death to another person must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of their accident and fulfill the requirements of both California Vehicle Code § 20003 and California Vehicle Code § 20004. A person must take these steps whether they are involved in an accident causing property damage, injury, or death.

A driver must stop their vehicle at the nearest location that does not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. They then must immediately do either of the following:

  • Locate and notify either a vehicle owner or any person in charge of the damaged property of the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle involved and, after locating the driver of any other motor vehicle involved or the owner or person in charge of any other kind of damaged property, on request, present their driver’s license and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of the property.

    The information a person gives must include a current residence address for the driver and the registered owner. If a registered owner of an involved vehicle is present at the scene, they must also, upon request, present their driver’s license information or some other kind of valid identification to the other involved parties.

  • Leave some written notice on a motor vehicle or damaged property that provides the name and address of a driver and the owner of the vehicle involved, as well as a statement of the circumstances, and must, without delay, notify the police department of the city where a collision occurred. When a collision occurs in the unincorporated territory, the driver and owner should inform the local headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
  • Failure to abide by these steps will be a criminal offense. Drivers may face misdemeanor or felony charges, with classifications usually dependent on the amount of damage caused.
Prohibitions Under California Vehicle Code § 20002

People violate California Vehicle Code § 20002 if any of the following applies to them:

  • They are a driver leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
  • They are a driver that does not identify themselves to other involved parties.
  • They cause damage to another party’s property.
California Vehicle Code § 20002 Definition of a Hit-And-Run Accident

When a hit-and-run accident results in criminal charges for an alleged offender, their criminal case will involve a prosecutor needing to prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The alleged offender was driving and was involved in a motor vehicle accident.
  • The alleged offender’s accident caused damage to another party’s property.
  • The alleged offender knew that they were involved in an accident causing property damage, injury, or death.
  • The alleged offender willfully failed to stop at the scene of an accident or provide an owner or person in control of damaged property with their name and current residence address.
California Hit-and-Run Laws
California Vehicle Code § 20002 Punishments
California Vehicle Code § 20002 Punishments

Many hit-and-run offenses causing only property damage are misdemeanor offenses that can result in up to six months in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00. Additional penalties can include three years of probation, restitution for damage, and 2 points on a California driving record.

Some misdemeanor charges may be punishable by up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $10,000, restitution to victims for property damage, and/or 2 points on California driving record. When a hit-and-run accident results in injuries or death, felony charges will be more common and can involve penalties that include up to four years in state jail, a fine of up to $10,000, restitution to victims for property damage, and 2 points on California driving record.

How Our Hit-and-Run Lawyer Can Assist Victims
  1. Legal Expertise and Guidance

    Our hit-and-run lawyers possess extensive knowledge and expertise in handling cases involving hit-and-run accidents. They are well-versed in the specific laws and regulations about hit-and-run incidents, enabling them to provide victims with accurate legal advice and guidance tailored to their unique circumstances.

  2. Investigation and Gathering Evidence

    One of the crucial aspects of a hit-and-run case is gathering evidence to identify the responsible party. Our lawyers work diligently to investigate the accident thoroughly, collaborating with law enforcement agencies, private investigators, and accident reconstruction experts. By collecting witness statements, reviewing surveillance footage, and examining physical evidence, our legal team strives to build a strong case for the victims.

  3. Pursuing Compensation

    Victims of hit-and-run accidents often face numerous physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Our hit-and-run lawyers are committed to helping victims pursue the compensation they deserve.

    They work tirelessly to identify all potential sources of compensation, including insurance policies such as uninsured motorist coverage. Our lawyers handle all aspects of the legal process, including negotiations with insurance companies and, if necessary, taking the case to court to ensure victims receive fair compensation.

  4. Advocacy and Legal Representation

    Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming for victims, especially when dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident. Our hit-and-run lawyers provide strong advocacy and legal representation, acting as a voice for victims and ensuring their rights are protected.

    They handle all communication with insurance companies, opposing parties, and other legal entities, allowing victims to focus on their recovery while knowing their case is in capable hands.

Related Criminal Offenses
Driving Without a License, California Vehicle Code § 12500

California Vehicle Code § 12500 makes it unlawful for a person to drive without a valid driver’s license. The offense is considered a wobbler, which means it might be charged as either a misdemeanor or an infraction.

A misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. An infraction can lead to a fine of up to $250.00 but no jail time.

It is important to note that California Vehicle Code § 12500 strictly relates to drivers who do not renew their driver’s licenses, never obtain driver’s licenses, or become California residents but do not get new licenses within 10 days. When a person drives on a suspended or revoked license, criminal charges for a traffic offense are instead filed under California Vehicle Code § 14601.1(a).

Jury Instructions in California for Driving Without a License Offenses

Cases involving driving without a license in violation of California Vehicle Code § 12500(a) will lead to California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) No. 2221. These instructions provide that the state must prove the following to convict an alleged offender:

  1. The alleged offender drove a motor vehicle on a highway.
  2. AND 
  3. When the alleged offender drove, they did not have a valid California driver’s license

A third element relates to instructing on a statutory exemption that an alleged offender was not excused from the requirement to have a California driver’s license. Whether an alleged offender was properly licensed is within their own knowledge.

An alleged offender must produce evidence demonstrating that they did hold a valid driver’s license. When the evidence raises reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind about whether an alleged offender held a valid driver’s license, they must find the alleged offender not guilty.

DUI, California Vehicle Code § 23152

Under California Vehicle Code § 23152, it is illegal for a person to drive a vehicle when they:

  • are under the influence of alcohol.
  • have 0.08 percent or more alcohol in their blood.
  • are addicted to the use of any drugs.
  • have 0.04 percent or more alcohol in their blood and are driving a commercial motor vehicle.
  • are under the influence of any drugs.
  • are under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug.

While some DUI cases can involve aggravating factors that increase the possible criminal charges, most DUI charges work as follows:

  • first DUI offense in 10 years – Three to five years of summary probation when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than 0.15 percent, three months or 30 hours of DUI school when BAC is 0.15 percent to 0.19 percent, six months or 60 hours of DUI school when BAC is 0.20 percent or higher, attendance at a victim impact panel, nine months of 90 hours of DUI school, up to $1,000 in fines, six-month driver’s license suspension, and/or up to six months in jail.
  • second DUI in 10 years – Three to five years of summary probation, an 18-month or 30-month DUI school course, up to $1,000 in fines, two-year driver’s license suspension, and/or up to one year in jail.
  • third DUI in 10 years – Three to five years of summary probation, 30-month DUI school course, up to $1,000 in fines, three-year driver’s license suspension, and/or up to one year in county jail.
California Jury Instructions for DUI Offenses

Violations of California Vehicle Code § 23152 subsections (a), (f), and (g) lead to CALCRIM No. 2110, which states that a prosecutor must prove the following to convict an alleged offender of DUI:

  1. The alleged offender drove a vehicle.
  2. AND

  3. When they drove, the alleged offender was under the influence of alcohol, a drug, or alcohol and a drug.

A person is considered to be under the influence when because of drinking alcohol and/or taking a drug, their mental or physical abilities are so impaired that they can no longer drive a motor vehicle with the caution a sober person will use an ordinary care under similar circumstances. How an alleged offender had been driving will not be enough alone to establish whether they are under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug.

These factors are considered in light of all surrounding circumstances when deciding whether an alleged offender was under the influence. If the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that an alleged offender’s blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or more at the time of chemical analysis, a jury can but is not required to, conclude that an alleged offender was under the influence of alcohol at the time of an alleged offense.

It is not a defense for an alleged offender to be legally entitled to use a drug. Claiming something else impaired their driving ability will also not be an acceptable defense.

Franchot M.
$610,000
Personal Injury Settlement
Our client was the victim of a rear-end accident who was left injured and severely in pain. Arash Law was able to outshine other injury law firms when he searched online, and thankfully we were able to handle everything for our client from A to Z — All that he had to do was ask and focus on his recovery. Our client’s life has changed forever, and the compensation received for the pain and suffering has opened paths for new lifelong opportunities.
Personal Injury Settlement
Our client was the victim of a rear-end accident who was left injured and severely in pain. Arash Law was able to outshine other injury law firms when he searched online, and thankfully we were able to handle everything for our client from A to Z — All that he had to do was ask and focus on his recovery. Our client’s life has changed forever, and the compensation received for the pain and suffering has opened paths for new lifelong opportunities.
Felony Hit-and-Run, California Vehicle Code § 20001

California Vehicle Code § 20001(a) establishes that a driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to another person or in the death of another person must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of an accident and fulfill the requirements of California Vehicle Code § 20003 and California Vehicle Code § 20004. Violations of this state law can lead to a sentence of up to one year in state prison or county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

California Vehicle Code § 20001(c) further states that a person who flees the scene of a crime after committing a violation of California Penal Code § 191.5 relating to gross vehicular manslaughter or California Penal Code § 192(c)(1) relating to manslaughter can be subject to an additional term of five years in the state prison.

California Jury Instructions for Felony Hit-and-Run Offenses

Failure to perform duty following an accident causing death or injury under California Vehicle Code § 20001, California Vehicle Code § 20003, and California Vehicle Code § 20004 will lead to jury instructions being CALCRIM No. 2140. CALCRIM No. 2140 provides that the state must prove the following:

  • The alleged offender was involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving.
  • Their motor vehicle accident caused the death of or permanent, serious injury to another person.
  • They knew that they had been involved in an accident injuring another person or knew from the nature of the accident that it was probable that another person suffered an injury.
  • They 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.

The instructions note that people can commit acts willfully when they do them willingly or on purpose, meaning it is not necessary that people intend to break laws, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

The duty to stop immediately means that a driver has to stop their vehicle as soon as is reasonably possible under the circumstances. Providing reasonable assistance means a driver needs to determine what assistance, if any, an injured person needs and make a reasonable effort to see that such assistance is provided, either by the driver or someone else.

Juries must all agree that the state proved that an alleged offender failed to perform at least one of their required duties. They also need to all agree on the duty an alleged offender failed to perform.

DUI Causing Injury, California Vehicle Code § 23153

Under California Vehicle Code § 23153, it is illegal for a person, while under the influence of alcohol, to drive a vehicle and also perform any legally forbidden act or neglect any legal duty in driving a vehicle when an act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to another person, or while they have 0.08 percent or more of alcohol in their blood to drive a vehicle and perform any legally forbidden act, or neglect any duty imposed by law while driving a vehicle when the act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to another person. A victim does not have to be a person outside of an alleged offender’s vehicle because victims can be passengers in the vehicles of alleged offenders.

DUI causing injury is also a wobbler offense, possibly resulting in misdemeanor or felony charges. A misdemeanor can result in summary probation for three to five years, up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, completion of California DUI school, a driver’s license suspension of up to three years, and restitution to any injured parties.

A felony may lead to up to four years in state prison, a “strike” on a person’s criminal record according to California’s Three Strikes Law if any person other than the alleged offender suffers great bodily injury, a fine of up to $5,000, Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status for three years, completion of a court-approved DUI school, and a five-year revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license.

California Jury Instructions for DUI Causing Injury Offenses

When an alleged offender is charged with causing injury to another person while they were driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more in violation of California Vehicle Code § 23153(b), then CALCRIM No. 2101 will be applicable. Proving that an alleged offender committed this crime involves the state needing to prove that:

  1. The alleged offender was driving a vehicle.
  2. While they were driving, the alleged offender’s blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or more by weight.
  3. While the alleged offender was driving with that blood alcohol level, they also committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty.
  4. The alleged offender’s illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty caused bodily injury to another person.

All members of a jury must agree that the state proved that an alleged offender committed at least one illegal act or failed to perform at least one duty for an alleged offender to be guilty. The jury also all need to agree on which act the alleged offender committed or which duty they failed to perform.

Exhibition of Speed, California Vehicle Code 23109(c)

California Vehicle Code § 23109 is the state law providing that people cannot engage in motor vehicle speed contests on highways, aid or abet in any speed contest on any highway, or, for the purpose of facilitating or aiding or as an incident to any speed contest or exhibition upon a highway, in any way obstruct or place a barricade or obstruction or assist or participate in placing a barricade or obstruction upon any highway. California Vehicle Code 23109(e) establishes that convictions can be punishable by up to 90 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, but when violations cause bodily injury to another person, they can be punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Repeat offenses that are committed within five years of prior offenses can involve aggravated penalties.

California Jury Instructions for Exhibition of Speed Offenses

Alleged offenders charged with engaging in an exhibition of speed in violation of California Vehicle Code § 23109 will be dealing with CALCRIM No. 2202. The jury instructions provide that the state must prove the following:

  1. An alleged offender was driving a motor vehicle on a highway.
  2. While they were driving, an alleged offender willfully engaged in an exhibition of speed.

A person commits an act willfully when they do the act willingly or on purpose, but they do not have to intend to break the law, hurt another party, or gain any advantage. Engaging in an exhibition of speed involves a person accelerating or driving at a rate of speed that is dangerous and unsafe to show off or make an impression on someone else.

Such a definition means the state must prove that an alleged offender intended to show off or impress someone. They do not have to prove that the alleged offender intended to show off to or impress any particular person.

California Jury Instructions for DUI Causing Injury Offenses

Motor Vehicle Accident

$3,500,000.00

Settlement in a motor vehicle accident; client suffered internal injuries.
–  JUDD ROSS ALLEN

Hit-and-Run Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for a hit-and-run accident may be criminal or civil. The Judicial Branch of California website notes that the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years, but Assembly Bill No. 184 extended the criminal statute of limitations for a hit-and-run offense from three to six years.

While the statute of limitations is obviously much shorter for civil personal injury claims, there are exceptions in certain cases that might allow for the limitations period to be extended. These situations include a victim being a minor (in which case they have two years to file after turning 18 years of age), a victim not being mentally competent at the time of an accident, and an alleged offender evading service out of fraud or being out of the country.

You’ll want to work with our Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys who can examine your options for extending your statute of limitations when an alleged offender still has not been located.

How Does Law Enforcement Find a Hit-and-Run Driver?

You will want to get local authorities involved in your hit-and-run accident as soon as possible because police officers generally have multiple ways in which they can identify alleged offenders and then take steps to apprehend them. Some of the most common ways in which police departments can analyze evidence of hit-and-run crimes to determine the parties responsible include:

  • performing searches of accident scenes and the surrounding areas to locate alleged offenders and their vehicles
  • conducting interviews with other drivers, passengers, and witnesses that provide more detailed descriptions of alleged offenders and their vehicles
  • retrieving surveillance footage from establishments in the area that might provide information about the vehicles involved
  • examining damage to vehicles involved or property struck and using paint left behind or other evidence that determines an alleged offender’s vehicle
Insurance Compensation for Hit-and-Run Accidents

When a victim suffers injuries in a hit-and-run accident, it is often the insurance company representing the alleged offender that becomes responsible for paying appropriate damages to the victim. Many victims are facing incredibly steep costs following their accidents, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage claims.

Even when an alleged offender is identified and facing criminal charges, insurance companies can still be reluctant to pay victims to that which they are entitled. That’s why it’s crucial to work with experienced Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys who will fight for your rights and ensure you get the justice you deserve. You should know that no insurer will ever have your best interests in mind when it is negotiating a settlement with you, which is why you should leave all settlement negotiations to a skilled attorney instead.

A few examples of the kinds of tactics an insurance company is likely to engage in can include, but are not limited to:

  • Delaying Justice – Many insurance companies will take their time handling hit-and-run accident claims, often saying that they are conducting their own investigations while victims are left waiting for the money they need. Insurers take this approach specifically because they know that as people become impatient, they also become more willing to accept lackluster settlement offers because they just want to receive something. You do not have to accept this kind of treatment and should let our Santa Maria hit-and-and-run accident attorneys handle all dealings with an insurance company.
  • Rejecting your Claim – It is not uncommon for an insurance company to outright reject a claim, even in cases where their policyholders were clearly at fault. Insurers can concoct a variety of illegitimate reasons for turning down a claim, so make sure you have a hit-and-run accident attorney in Santa Maria handling your case to overcome these kinds of unfair denials.
  • Lowball Settlement Offer – The most common tactic insurance companies use following any kind of automobile accident is to immediately extend a settlement offer to a victim, with an agent usually saying it represents the most they are authorized to offer. Certain settlement offers can initially seem large to some people, but you need to really ask yourself whether the amount you are accepting will be enough to cover your full lifetime of expenses stemming from your accident. The truth is that most initial settlement offers are much less than what people are entitled to, and you will want to make sure that a Santa Maria hit-and-and-run accident attorney is negotiating a far more fair and full amount.
  • Refusing to Settle – Some insurance companies will be initially reluctant to enter into settlement negotiations, trying to see how willing you will be to file a lawsuit to recover damages. People who do not take such a step will be unable to recover anything. However, working with experienced Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys can help. Filing a lawsuit usually does prompt the insurer to settle because settling a case is far cheaper for an insurance company than having to bear the costs of taking the case to trial. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can fight for your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
How to Get Damages That Result from a Hit-and-Run Accident

A hit-and-run accident in Santa Maria can be a traumatic experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Santa Maria Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. From negotiating with insurance companies to representing you in court, these attorneys have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the legal process and help you get back on your feet.

Economic damages refer to actual, tangible losses, such as:

  • past, present, and future lost wages
  • past, present, and future medical bills
  • property damage
  • reduced earning potential 
  • other out-of-pocket costs

Non-economic damages relate to more subjective types of harm that are certainly real but do not have inherent financial values. Common kinds of non-economic damages include:

  • physical disfigurement
  • emotional distress
  • disability 
  • pain and suffering
  • loss of enjoyment in life
Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Following any kind of motor vehicle accident in California, people will have multiple steps they need to take. Some of the things you will want to do after a hit-and-run accident in Santa Maria will include:

  • Remain at the scene of the accident and call the police – Do not leave the scene of your accident because you can be charged with hit-and-run even when an accident was not your fault. Always make sure to get the police involved as soon as you can.
  • Seek medical attention – You always want to visit a hospital, even if you do not think you suffered an injury. You not only want to get assurance from a medical expert that you are OK, but you also want to immediately create a medical record that will be critical for your injury claim.
  • Be careful with what you say – Never admit to any fault at the scene of your crash. You are going to need an independent investigation to confirm fault in your case, and you should wait to make any statement until you have an attorney by your side.
  • Use your cell phone to take pictures or videos – Most people have cameras on their cell phones, so use yours to take pictures of every bit of evidence that is available to you. In addition to getting photographs of the vehicles involved from varying distances and angles, also try to get pictures of other kinds of evidence, such as skid marks. 
  • Contact our Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys as soon as possible – You cannot afford to wait in seeking legal representation. The sooner you get the talented team of Arash Law, run by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., involved in your, the sooner your case can be resolved.

Led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., the team of Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys at Arash Law understand how confusing life can be for victims after a hit-and-run accident, and we will be sure to answer all of your questions while providing the best possible advice about what you can do moving forward. You should also know that we handle every case on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not pay anything for our services unless you win or settle your case.

The Santa Maria hit-and-run accident attorneys at Arash Law, managed and operated by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., boast more than $500 million in recoveries and personal injury settlements for scores of clients throughout California. In addition to Santa Maria, we also represent individuals in Arroyo Grande, Taft, Grover Beach, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Avenal, Lompoc, Shafter, San Luis Obispo, Goleta, Morro Bay, Wasco, Atascadero, Carpinteria, and Isla Vista.

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