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In the state of California, a hit and run, also called fleeing the scene of an accident, can lead to both civil and criminal charges. The severity of any injuries or damages and the circumstances of the accident will determine the specific consequences.
California law states anyone who is involved in a vehicle accident is required to immediately stop their car at the accident scene and exchange information with the other driver as well as offer reasonable help to any injured parties. Not doing so could lead to you having criminal charges filed against you and even potential civil actions. Working with an experienced California hit-and-run attorney from Dod Law, APC can help protect your rights.
What to Know About Fleeing the Scene of an Accident
As mentioned, through California law, you’re legally obligated to stop if you’re involved in a vehicle accident. You must stop right at the moment of the accident or as soon as you can and return to the accident scene. Then, you’re required to:
- Find the other driver involved in the accident and swap documentation
- Leave a note that documents your information if you can’t find the other driver
- Offer reasonable assistance if someone is injured and assist in locating emergency officials
You could be charged with a hit and run or with leaving the accident scene if you fail to take these required actions.
Other Things Required at the Accident Scene
California state drivers are expected to take a number of actions if they’re involved in a vehicle accident. Drivers have the responsibility to check on any other involved parties in the accident to ensure they’re not injured. If someone is injured and requires medical treatment, drivers should contact emergency services.
Also, in many situations, drivers should report accidents to law enforcement. Contacting a reputable car accident attorney after an accident in California is also ideal. An experienced attorney can offer drivers important and detailed information on what their next steps should be.
What Type of Legal Consequences Can You Face if You Flee the Scene of an Accident?
There are a number of legal consequences you could face for fleeing the scene of an accident, including:
- License suspension
- Criminal record
- Increased insurance rate
- Civil liability
All cases, of course, are unique, and the penalties you face will vary depending on your specific circumstances. It’s highly recommended that you immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you face hit-and-run charges.
Will Your Insurance Company Cover You if You Flee the Scene of an Accident?
Whether or not your insurance company will cover you after you flee an accident scene depends on your policy’s terms and your specific circumstances. Generally, most auto insurance policies do include a provision that states that the policy won’t cover losses or damages resulting from illegal acts, like fleeing the scene of an accident. However, it’s essential to note your policy’s exact terms can vary depending on:
- The company you bought the auto insurance policy from
- The type of coverage you have
- The laws of your state
It’s recommended that you contact your insurance company and inquire about the type of coverage you have (if any) in the event you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Now, if you were the victim of another person fleeing the scene of the accident and your vehicle was damaged or you were injured, your insurance company will most likely cover the cost of your medical payments, vehicle repairs, and other expenses if you have comprehensive coverage.
Contact the Experienced Legal Team at Dod Law, APC for Legal Help in California
You may have police officers show up at your home if they suspect your vehicle was involved in an accident where you fled the scene. They’ll want to interview you and ask you questions. But, it’s important that you understand that whatever you say to them could be used against you in order to charge you.
Make sure you reach out to one of our lawyers with over 18 years of experience at Dod Law, APC. We are here to help you learn your legal options. Contact us today at (619) 814-5110 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.