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California Motorcyclist Hit and Run Accidents

Motorcyclist Hit And Runs -- Legal Insight From the Best Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys

Hit and runs committed by motorcyclists occur when they are involved in an accident with a pedestrian or vehicle, and then leave the scene without:

  • Helping the victims,
  • Calling the police, and
  • Not providing their insurance information. 

In California, any damage done to property will be classified as a misdemeanor crime. If the rider is convicted of a misdemeanor hit and run, they may be subjected to:

A fine up to $1,000,

  • 6 months in jail, and 
  • Probation.

You will also receive two points on your driving record. If you happen to get two more points during the same 12 month period of when you got your last two points, your license will be either suspended or revoked. 

California Laws For Hit And Run

Under Vehicle Code 20002 (a) an individual who gets into an accident with another vehicle resulting in property damage (pets included) is required to immediately stop and try to move to prevent traffic and find safety. The rider must find the driver they hit and exchange contact information with them. This includes both of your:

  • Names,
  • Phone numbers, and
  • Insurance information.

It is also required for you to notify the police department about the collision. Failure to perform any of these actions will result in the individual being guilty of a misdemeanor. Also, your insurance company may cancel your insurance policy if you are found guilty of committing a hit and run. 

If an individual is accused of a hit and run when they did not actually do it, they may raise a legal defense. Defenses for Vehicle Code 20002 (a) include:

  • False accusation, 
  • No property damage, or 
  • Illegal search and seizure. 

Having a good defense will increase the chances of the charge getting reduced or possibly dismissed.

California Hit And Run Statistics

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), California’s hit and run has increased by 60 percent since 2009. The state is ranked in the 7th spot nationally for hit and run deaths. Based on the research conducted for this study, the AAA found out that almost 65 percent of victims were either pedestrians or bicyclists. There is a 7.2 percent increase each year for hit and run deaths since 2009. Due to these alarming statistics, it is highly recommended on behalf of the AAA for everyone to stay safe and aware of their surroundings when they are going out.

Losses Covered for A Hit and Run Motorcycle Accident

Uninsured motorist coverage. Offers compensation for injuries and vehicle damage done by an individual who does not have car insurance. This would be the most appropriate source of protection if you were a victim of a hit-and-run, assuming that the driver who did it is nowhere to be found. You should file a report on the accident to your insurance company and local law enforcement. Lastly, it is recommended that you find a bystander that is willing to be a part of your case. Make sure to include their name and contact information. They will be of great help for your situation. 

PIP coverage. Compensates for any medical costs or lost wages for insured drivers regardless of who caused the accident. PIP may not be used for damages done to your vehicle. Additionally, it will not cover your emotional distress or pain and suffering from the collision. 

Collision coverage. This covers repair or replace expenses for your vehicle. However, your premiums may increase.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

Loss of Earning Capacity

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain And Suffering
  • Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help With Your Hit and Run Accident

If you are a victim of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced personal injury attorneys that will work tirelessly to ensure that you are getting the maximum financial and medical compensation you deserve. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No financial risks are associated with our services. Fees are not charged until we win your case. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling(213) 927-3700 or email[email protected]to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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