California Motorcyclist Hit and Run Accidents
How to Cover Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, they are required to stay at the scene of the incident until police arrive. The motorist who is at-fault for causing the crash must:
- Contact the police.
- Help the victim(s).
- Exchange information with the other party involved in the accident.
If the motorist chooses to ignore the problem and run away, then they are committing a hit and run.
In California, property damage is classified as a misdemeanor crime. If the rider is convicted of a hit and run, then they may subject to:
- A fine up to $1,000,
- 6 months in jail, and
You may also receive two points on your driving record. If you are given two more points during the same 12 month period from when you had your last two points, you will have your license either suspended or revoked.
California Laws for Hit and Run
Under Vehicle Code 20002(a), if an accident involves property damage, both drivers must immediately stop their vehicles at a safe location nearby to prevent the flow of traffic and protect themselves from further harm. Afterwards, both parties must exchange contact and insurance information. This includes:
- Phone number(s), and
- License plate number(s).
The local authorities must be informed about this collision. Failure to do so will result in the motorist being found guilty of a misdemeanor. The insurance company may also cancel your insurance policy if you are guilty of a hit and run accident. If the motorist is accused of a hit and run they did not commit, then 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 has been nationally ranked in 7th place 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.
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 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 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
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 percent 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 compensation you deserve. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No financial risks are associated with our services. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.