IRVINE, California. Car accident injuries have a serious impact on victims and their families. They can leave victims with high medical expenses, lost wages from missed days at work, and immense pain and suffering. Any injury can lead to immense stress, but none so acute as hit and run accidents. After a hit and run accident, you may have many questions. Unlike a car accident where the at-fault party remains on the scene and pays for damages, a hit and run accident may leave victims with high unpaid bills wondering where to turn for help. The injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Joel W. Baruch, P.C. work closely with hit and run accident survivors to help them seek the justice they may deserve under the law.
What can you do if you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident? If it is safe to do so, record as much information as you can. If you can remember a description of the vehicle, this can be helpful. If you can remember the direction the vehicle was going, this may also help police during an investigation. Whether the accident was minor or severe, you should always file a police report. Ask witnesses for any information they may have. Finally, don’t try to follow the fleeing driver. This can endanger you and other people. Instead, contact your insurance company and the police as soon as possible. You may also want to contact the accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Joel W. Baruch, P.C. in Irvine, California.
Why do people leave the scene of a crash? According to the Baltimore Sun, hit and run accidents are not rare, but it isn’t clear why people run. In some instances, alcohol may be involved. Individuals may flee because the consequences of drunk driving manslaughter in some states may exceed the consequences of a hit and run, though many states are working to remedy this. Drivers may also flee if they were distracted with their cell phones. Individuals may leave in order to avoid consequences.
Individuals who are well-known in the community may have more incentives to flee. In other cases, those who are driving with an invalid license may also choose to leave the scene. Interestingly, according to the Los Angeles Times, the number of hit and runs in California fell after the state began issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. According to Stanford University researchers, drivers who are illegal immigrants were less likely to flee if they held a driver’s license. The passage of the law allowing illegal immigrants to hold driver’s licenses has saved drivers and insurance companies an estimated $17 million a year. When drivers don’t leave the scene of a crash, they pay for the damages they cause. Additionally, drivers may have more incentives to stay, because hit and runs could result in criminal charges which could lead to deportation. The measure has been so successful that other states, like New York are considering implementing similar laws.