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Leaving The Scene of An Accident In Northern California (Hit And Run In Accident)

By  Dan McCrary | December 10, 2023

Leaving the scene of an accident in Northern California is common. Although it’s problematic for drivers and victims, the side that suffers most is the victim. They get to deal with injuries, mental trauma, medical bills and the legal process of settlement with the driver. 

Although, in many cases, the driver gets to deal with legal repercussions. However, it only happens if the person who got hit takes them to court, and there’s enough proof to show who did it, so whether you get justice or not depends on various factors. 

To help you out, we’ll explain what can happen to the driver in a hit and run accident case according to California law. We’ll also share a detailed guide about what you should do if someone leaves you after causing a car accident.

What Will Happen To The Driver In Hit & Run Case?

As the name suggests, hit-and-run accident cases mean when a driver hits a car and leaves without informing police or the owner of the other car. Any driver who does that will have to face consequences. According to the California law vehicle code 20002

 The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. Moving the vehicle in accordance with this subdivision does not affect the question of fault.

Drivers who don’t stop hitting someone’s car and leave immediately will face charges of misdemeanor crime. In case no one is in the car, you should leave a note with your contact details and inform the police on the spot. 

Failing to comply with the laws will get you into legal and financial trouble. A driver might end up in jail for up to six months, be fined up to $1000, or even face both consequences. If the case involved death, the driver will have to face the felony hit-and-run charges. 

Felony hit-and-run charges are more serious than misdemeanor charges because they involve death. In these types of cases, the driver might get imprisoned for up to 4 years and fined between $1000 to $10,000.

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What Should Victims Do In Hit & Run Accident Cases?

If you want to get justice by getting all the losses you had in the accident by charging the driver, you must follow the proper way. Many of your minor mistakes can work in the driver’s favor, so it’s important to be careful about what you do next. 

1. Ensure Your Safety 

The first step you should take is to ensure your safety. Try to move your hands and legs, and check yourself carefully to find out whether you’ve any injury or not. If you feel pain anywhere in your body and cannot walk, seek medical help immediately. 

Contact 911 for emergency situations and medical help. Once you’re sure everything is fine, contact the police. It’s an important step as police will come and examine the accident scene and take pictures and videos of the area, which helps a lot in cases. 

2. Identify The Driver 

After ensuring your health, think about the driver. Try to remember the car model, car color, and what exactly happened at the time of the accident. It’s best to note these details on a notebook or mobile phone so you can share everything with lawyers. 

You can also talk to the individuals who are present at the accident scene. They might be able to share information that can prove helpful in the case. If there are any witnesses, be sure to obtain their contact details. Your lawyers can contact the witness to record their statements. 

3. Collect Evidences 

The next step is to collect as much evidence as possible. Depending solely on police reports and evidence isn’t the best idea. Snap photos of your car, the accident spot, and any damage to the road caused by the other driver’s carelessness. 

Having these pictures can really help later on in the court. Your lawyer can use the picture to show the financial loss you’ve suffered. Also, see if there’s any CCTV footage from the area. That could be helpful, too.

4. Hire A Car Accident Lawyer

The last step is hiring a lawyer, for which you can contact our MCCRARY Law Firm. This step is crucial if you want to win the case. Our lawyer will hear your side and talk to the driver to settle your losses.

We’ll also help communicate with the driver insurer company so you can get a fair settlement amount. In case of disagreement, you can go to court, and our lawyers will also assist in this process. 

Final Words

To sum up, leaving the scene of an accident in northern California is a crime. According to the California law vehicle code 20002, the driver should stop the car immediately and park in the corner of the road, contact the police and share the information with the other driver.

Any driver who fails to follow the steps as per the law will be punished with misdemeanor charges. In case of death, the driver will be charged with felony charges leading to imprisonment of up to 4 years and a $1000 to $10,000 fine.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.