Hit-and-run accidents are a common occurrence on the busy streets of San Francisco and can be devastating for the victims and their families. Not only are they left with physical injuries and emotional trauma, but they may also face financial hardships. In the worst-case scenario, hit-and-run accidents can be fatal.
The trauma and frustration of hit-and-run accidents are often magnified because the driver responsible for the accident flees the scene, leaving you or other victims and any witnesses feeling helpless and vulnerable. In these unfortunate situations, you may feel a sense of injustice and anger towards the driver, who has avoided their responsibility to provide assistance and potentially face the consequences of their actions.
MJQ Law Stands Up For Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents in San Francisco
When you or one of your loved ones falls victim to a hit-and-run accident in San Francisco, it’s crucial to have an experienced and compassionate legal team on your side. At MJQ Law, we are dedicated to standing up for the rights of hit-and-run accident victims and their families.
Our team of experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers has a proven track record of securing compensation for our clients, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. We understand the complex legal and emotional issues involved in hit-and-run cases and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
Don’t let the responsible party get away with their actions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.
How Do Hit-and-Run Accidents Differ From Other Car Accidents in San Francisco?
A hit-and-run accident is a type of car accident where one driver leaves the scene of the accident without providing their contact information or waiting for law enforcement to arrive. In San Francisco and throughout California, a hit-and-run is against the law. Despite this, they are not uncommon in California.
Data from the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records Systems (SWITRS) annual report, there were 20,459 hit-and-run accidents in the state in 2019.
As they relate to San Francisco specifically, hit-and-run accidents can occur anywhere in the city. However, they are more likely to occur in certain areas with higher traffic volume, such as downtown San Francisco or along major thoroughfares like the Golden Gate Bridge or Lombard Street. That said, there are a number of ways that hit-and-run accidents differ from other car accidents in San Francisco:
- Lack of information – In a hit-and-run accident, the driver responsible for the accident flees the scene without providing their contact information. This means that victims may not have the name, contact information, or insurance details of the driver responsible for the accident. In contrast, in other car accidents, drivers typically exchange contact and insurance information, which can help facilitate insurance claims and other legal proceedings.
- Difficulty identifying the responsible party – Hit-and-run accidents can be more difficult to investigate and solve than other car accidents. Without the cooperation of the driver, law enforcement may have limited information to work with in order to identify and apprehend the responsible party. This can make it challenging to hold the driver accountable for their actions and obtain compensation for victims.
- Emotional impact – Hit-and-run accidents can leave victims with feelings of helplessness, anger, and injustice, as they are left without any information about the driver responsible for their injuries. Victims may also experience emotional trauma as a result of the accident, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety, which can have long-lasting effects on their quality of life. In contrast, other car accidents may not have the same level of emotional impact, as victims may have more information and support following the accident.
- Severity of injuries – Hit-and-run accidents can leave victims with greater physical harm than other car accidents. Victims may not receive prompt medical attention or assistance, which can lead to more severe injuries and long-term damage. In some cases, hit-and-run accidents may result in fatalities, which can have a devastating impact on the victim’s family and loved ones.
Although they’re typically more damaging than regular car accidents, it’s important to remember that there is no way to know that you’re going to be in a hit-and-run. At the same time, you should take the same steps that you would in any other car accident. Namely, make sure to get to safety and seek medical attention. At that point, you can take the next steps that are necessary in a hit-and-run accident.
Why Do Hit-and-Run Accidents Happen in San Francisco?
One of the keys to dealing with a hit-and-run accident is understanding why they happen. There are several factors that may lead someone to commit a hit-and-run, even with significant public awareness of the issue and knowledge of the penalties involved. While the specific circumstances will differ from accident to accident, some of the most common reasons hit-and-run accidents happen in San Francisco include:
- Fear of legal consequences – In some cases, drivers may flee the scene of an accident because they are afraid of facing legal consequences for their actions. For example, a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may leave the scene of an accident to avoid being arrested for DUI.
- Lack of awareness – In busy urban areas like San Francisco, drivers may be distracted or unaware of their surroundings, which can increase the likelihood of accidents. In some cases, drivers may not even realize that they have hit someone or something, and may leave the scene of the accident without realizing the consequences of their actions.
- Financial concerns – Some drivers may not have insurance or may be driving without a valid license, which can make them more likely to flee the scene of an accident in order to avoid paying for damages or facing legal consequences.
- Panic or shock – In some cases, drivers may panic or be in shock following an accident and may not know what to do. They may leave the scene of the accident out of fear or confusion, rather than malice or a desire to avoid legal consequences.
Regardless of the reason for a hit-and-run accident, it is important that you seek medical attention and report the incident to law enforcement. Working with our team of experienced car accident lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process involved in these cases and pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Can You Do After a San Francisco Hit and Run Accident?
It may seem like there’s nothing that can be done after a hit-and-run accident. While the circumstances aren’t ideal, California law still allows you the ability to pursue a claim for damages. To that end, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve:
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Call an ambulance immediately if anyone is injured.
- Try to remember as much detail about the other vehicle as possible, including the make, model, color, and license plate number.
- Report the accident as soon as possible to police. Provide any information you have about the other vehicle and driver, as well as any witnesses to the accident.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident, including any damage to your vehicle, skid marks, and debris on the road.
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident. Provide them with all the information you have about the accident, including the police report number.
- Keep a record of all medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and other expenses related to the accident.
From there, you should contact our team of experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers. We can examine the details of your case and help you gather evidence for your claim. The nature of a hit-and-run accident means that the claims process is a bit different than in a regular car accident, but our team has a proven system of success in dealing with these types of claims. Our process involves the following steps:
- Contact your insurance company – The first step in the process is to notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with any information you have about the accident, including the police report number and any witness statements.
- Filing an insurance claim – If the other driver is not identified or is uninsured, you may be able to file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is designed to protect you in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Investigation – Once a claim is filed, your insurance company will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and the extent of the damages. They will also work with the police and any witnesses to identify the other driver.
- Negotiating with the insurance company – Your insurance company will negotiate with you to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We can lead these negotiations to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
- Filing a lawsuit – If a settlement cannot be reached, our team will file a lawsuit against the other driver. In this case, you should work with an experienced hit-and-run accident attorney who can represent you in court and ensure that your rights are protected.
It’s important to remember that the claims process in a hit-and-run accident can be complex. Working with our team of experienced lawyers, though, can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve and that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Dedicated Support From MJQ Law
Being injured in a San Francisco hit-and-run accident can often feel insurmountable. With no information on the driver who caused the accident, you are left with no answers about how you’ll be able to pay your medical bills or the damage to your vehicle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Working with the experienced car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan can provide you with the support you need. We are committed to providing personalized attention and aggressive representation to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.