Hit-and-run accidents are frightening — and frighteningly common. Hit-and-run victims are often afraid. Many of our clients tell us they worry that they will not only have to deal with their injuries, but that they will be stuck with the bill. As an Oakland hit-and-run injury lawyer, Attorney Greg Brod helps erase this fear by pursuing all avenues to ensure these victims receive the compensation they need and deserve.
Oakland Hit-and-Run Injures Five
The Oakland Tribune is continuing to follow the case of a hit-and-run accident that left five people seriously injured. On Monday, police responded to a crash at the intersection of 68th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard in the Millsmont section of Oakland. Arriving on scene, emergency crews found a 1993 four-door Oldsmobile sedan that appeared to have been broadsided at high speed. Police believe that the driver of the other vehicle ditched his/her car and fled on foot, although that vehicle was gone from the scene when emergency officials arrived.
Crews had to use the Jaws of Life to remove two of the Oldsmobile’s five passengers from the sedan. Three children, an infant, an eight year-old, and a ten year-old, were transported to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. All were in stable condition as of the report. Two adults who were also in the Oldsmobile were taken to Highland Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The Basics of a Growing Problem
California’s Vehicle Code Section 2001(a) provides that any driver involved in an accident that causes injury to another person must stop at the scene of the accident. Failure to do so turns any crash into a hit-and-run and puts lives at stake as time and information are lost. In late 2013, USA Today suggested hit-and-runs had reached epidemic proportions in some areas including parts of California. The article notes an upwards trend in the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes (1,274 in 2009, 1,393 in 2010, 1,449 in 2011) at the same time as the number of traffic deaths across the board fell. One in five pedestrian accidents is a hit-and-run and pedestrians account for 60% of hit-and-run deaths. None of those statistics even includes injury crashes like that in Oakland earlier this week.
Avenues for Recovery: Investigations, Injury Suits, Uninsured Motorists Claims, and an Injury Attorney’s Role in Hit-and-Run Cases
Hit-and-run victims often fear they will not be able to recover compensation to help pay for medical expenses and lost work days, let alone receive compensation for their pain and suffering. The biggest mistake these victims can and often do make is failing to call a personal injury attorney. In fact, as an Oakland hit-and-run victim’s lawyer, Attorney Brod can and does help hit-and-run victims recover monetary compensation.
One way we can help is by thoroughly investigating the accident. Police will do this too, but the police have quite a lot on their plates and can’t always give an individual accident the attention it truly deserves. It is not at all unusual for a plaintiff’s attorney to locate a hit-and-run driver where the police investigation failed to do so. If the driver is identified (through our work, police efforts, or in any other manner), we can file a civil suit against the other driver seeking money for both economic and non-economic (i.e. pain and suffering) damages. In hit-and-run cases, punitive damages may be appropriate and provide extra compensation to the victims as a way to punish the offender. We know extra money is always helpful, allowing victims to focus on healing both physically and mentally without having to worry about finances.
If the driver at fault is never identified, we can help hit-and-run victims make a claim against their own uninsured motorist’s policy. All California insurance companies must offer this form of coverage and we always encourage people to include it in their insurance coverage package. Having an attorney not only relieves you of the burden of dealing with the insurance company, it often means you recover more than you would if you were unrepresented. We can help you avoid a bad faith denial and we can ensure the settlement you receive is fair and appropriate. Uninsured motorists’ policies can pay for everything that a defendant in a civil injury case might pay for like medical expenses, lost income, funeral costs (if appropriate), and pain and suffering.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run, the first thing you should do is make sure you and any loved ones involved in the crash receive appropriate medical care. Once your health allows, you should call an experienced hit-and-run victims’ attorney like Greg Brod. Along with his team, Attorney Brod will fight to get you the money you need and deserve so you can focus on healing.
(Image by Kel Patolog; image does not depict news story discussed in post)