No matter what the circumstances are, a hit-and-run accident is one of the most frustrating and dangerous accidents you’ll encounter on San Francisco’s roads. Whether they choose to abide by the law or not, virtually every driver in California understands their responsibility to stay at the scene and provide their information when they cause an accident. However, this doesn’t always happen. This not only is a violation of the law but also makes the path to recovering the available benefits and support much more difficult.
In a motorcycle accident, injuries are always likely–and usually severe. The relative lack of protection afforded by a motorcycle means that any difficulting in obtaining the information and evidence needed for recovery of damages can make an already stressful physical and financial situation much worse.
Work With Top-Rated San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
In these situations, it’s important to have experience and trust on your side. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we know how to approach a hit and run motorcycle accident case. Just because you can’t track down the necessary information on the at-fault driver doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Our team can put our resources on your case, making sure that if we aren’t able to find the driver, we’ll get your claim in position for your own insurance. Being in a hit and run motorcycle accident is never what you want, but when it does happen, you have to be prepared.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Is a Hit And Run Motorcycle Accident Against the Law in San Francisco?
San Francisco, like all other cities in California, has a set of laws in place that deal with vehicle accidents. But when a driver causes an accident and they flee the scene, they will have broken the law.
Specifically, Section 20002 of the California Vehicle Code outlines What happens when a person causes an accident and then flees the scene. Commonly known as a hit and run, this is illegal no matter what type of vehicle is invovled. So, if you are on a motorcycle and another driver causes an accident and doesn’t stay behind to check on you, they will have committed a hit and run. Penalties range from misdemeanor to felony and carry fines of up to $10,000 and four years in prison.
Legally speaking, the statute not only outlines the punishments for fleeing the scene of an accident, it also clearly directs what a driver is supposed to do when they cause or are otherwise involved in an accident:
- The driver must immediately stop their vehicle.
- The driver must provide the injured party with their name and address.
- The driver must furnish their driver’s license and car registration.
While the law is in place to at least give pause to drivers that may commit a hit and run, that doesn’t mean that every driver in San Francisco will follow them. In fact, data from the California Highway Patrol found that there were 25,842 hit and run accidents in 2019 alone. Data also showed that there were over 13,000 motorcycle accidents that year. This data underscores the probability of a hit and run motorcycle accident in San Francisco. However, knowing why hit and run accidents happen is another important part of the equation.
Why Do Hit and Run Accidents Happen in San Francisco?
Hit and run accidents are unfortunate all the way around. This is especially true in motorcycle accidents. Most drivers understand that they need to stay at the scene of an accident no matter what type of vehicle is involved, but because a motorcycle has a higher risk of accident, some drivers may choose to not take their responsibility seriously. However, no matter what their reasoning is, they will have violated the law if they hit and run. Because hit and runs have such ramifications, we have seen firsthand the effect that these accidents can have. Some of the most common reasons drivers flee from the scene include:
- They were driving under the influence
- They fell asleep behind the wheel or were distracted
- They have an invalid driver’s license
- They are on probation
- They are driving with a suspended license
- They are driving without insurance
- There are warrants for their arrest
While any motorcycle accident brings its own share of problems, the main problem with a hit and run accident is the difficulty in tracking down the driver so as to get their insurance information. Many times, you can ask the police to assist since a hit and run is a criminal offense. Your number one priority in the immediate aftermath of an accident, though, is getting to safety. After that, though, you do have options to make sure you are compensated for your losses.
Injuries In a San Francisco Hit and Run Motorcycle Accident
Any motorcycle accident is going to have its fair share of injuries for the rider, but when the accident happens in a hit and run, it just rubs salt into the wound. Not only does riding a motorcycle carry risk, but oftentimes it’s other drivers that are the main cause of any accident. Here are some common motorcycle accidents from hit and run cases we’ve handled:
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Fractures and broken bones
- Back strains
Under normal conditions, they would be responsible for your injuries. While they still technically are responsible for your injuries in a hit and run–particularly if you track them down and get their insurance information–you still may end up having to pay out of your own pocket if you can’t find the at-fault driver.
What Action Can I Take After a Hit-And-Run Motorcycle Accident?
Even though hit and run accidents are dangerous, they’re quite common on San Francisco roads. Aside from the law that punishes hit and run offenders, the state of California has some mechanisms in place in the event that the driver is never found. This comes through in their insurance minimums that every driver of every vehicle in California has to carry. If you’re unable to find the at-fault driver in your San Francisco hit and run accident, the following insurance policies will take effect to cover your damages.
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage – California drivers must carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage of at least $15,000 per person, $30,000 for more than one person, and at least $5,000 per accident. In a hit and run accident, the other driver is considered uninsured, so you can turn to your UM insurance policy to take care of any bills.
- Collision coverage – Collision coverage handles any damage to your vehicle, no matter who is at fault. While it’s practical to have, this coverage is usually the most expensive type of policy an auto insurance company offers. Still, if you find yourself in a hit and run, it will cover fixing your vehicle or getting you money to purchase a new one.
- Medical payments (MedPay) coverage – Medpay coverage can pay for immediate medical care for you in the event of a hit and run accident. Most insurance carriers offer a $1,000 minimum policy, so having this can help when medical bills start rolling in.
If you don’t have car insurance, you can turn to your health insurance coverage if you have that to cover any medical bills. However, if you’re driving without insurance, it will make your claim much more difficult to take on because you will be in violation of California law in your own right.
Support and Dedication From San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Medical bills and damage to your motorcycle are two of the most consequential outcomes of any hit and run motorcycle accident in San Francisco. But as with any accident, it’s often the mental and psychological toll that is greater. A motorcycle accident can–and often is–very serious in terms of the injuries and damages you suffer, so getting help one way or the other is very important to your recovery.
At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan we know how difficult these accidents can be. Through our experience, we have developed winning strategies to deal with hit and run accidents, and your satisfaction is always our number one priority. If you have been injured in a San Francsico hit and run motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation.