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Who pays for the costs of a California hit-and-run?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Hit-and-run collisions are rare but serious safety concerns for California motorists. Occasionally, the party who causes a crash will not comply with state laws that require them to stop and report the incident. Instead, they will flee the crash in an attempt to avoid responsibility. Hit-and-run crashes can be particularly dangerous, as someone may go longer than they should without receiving emergency medical care.

A driver violates California state law by failing to stop after causing a crash. However, those who flee the scene of a crash may do so because they know they have broken another law. They may not have insurance, might have a suspended license or might be under the influence of drugs. The person who didn’t break the law could suffer major losses due to injuries and property damage.

Who typically pays for the costs generated in a hit-and-run collision?

The driver who leaves the scene

The best possible outcome for a hit-and-run crash in California is the successful identification of the driver at fault for the wreck. If the police can find the motorist who caused the crash, the people affected by the wreck can file an insurance claim or possibly a personal injury lawsuit.

Unfortunately, police departments do not necessarily prioritize hit-and-run investigations. For example, in 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department only had an 8% solve rate for hit-and-runs. The driver affected by the crash may need to repeatedly follow up with law enforcement or bring in an attorney to advocate for them so that their collision doesn’t become the lowest priority for local authorities.

Extra coverage on their own insurance

Liability coverage usually only pays for crash costs when someone is at fault and therefore won’t help after a hit-and-run. If a California driver has invested in extra coverage on their policy, they may be able to use their own insurance to cover hit-and-run crash expenses. Uninsured motorist protection and other forms of supplemental coverage can help people pay for property damage expenses, medical costs and even lost wages caused by a hit-and-run collision.

In most cases, the best outcome of a hit-and-run crash requires a thorough investigation to identify the driver who caused the wreck. Seeking legal support while following up on a crash caused by a hit-and-run driver may help people minimize the losses they experience because of another person’s irresponsible choices.