Recent data suggests that hit-and-run vehicle accidents are increasing in Los Angeles, California. In these crashes, drivers hit another car or a pedestrian and then quickly flee the scene. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there are approximately 20,000 hit-and-runs in Los Angeles each year. If you have been injured as a result of a hit and run accident it is important to contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
A growing problem
Hit-and-run crashes seem to be an epidemic in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, hit-and-run crashes amounted for an outstanding 48 percent of collisions in 2009. This number is even more shocking when compared with the national average; only 11 percent of collisions are hit-and-run accidents in the United States as a whole. Additionally, it is estimated that approximately 4,000 of the hit-and-run crashes in Los Angeles in 2009 resulted in injury or death.
According to new data, there were more than 18,800 hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles in 2011. Of the crashes, 514 involved cyclists being hit and 759 involved pedestrians.
Hit-and-run drivers may escape justice
Unfortunately, hit-and-run drivers are not always brought to justice. If no one sees the vehicle’s license plate, the driver may never be caught. These drivers will often get their car repaired quickly so that there is no sign of the collision. Many victims and their families never see the perpetrator of a hit-and-run brought to justice.
Insurance policies can protect against hit-and-run drivers
Victims and the families of victims of hit-and-run collisions may benefit from certain insurance policies.
A bodily injury liability policy means that the insurance company of the person that caused the accident will pay damages to people who are injured or killed as a result. However, in hit-and-run cases, the person at fault is not always found. That is why it is helpful to have a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy as well. This type of policy protects an insured person when he or she is injured regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident.
Additionally, having an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy can be helpful under these circumstances. With these policies, the insurer will pay damages to the insured person if the person at fault for the accident is uninsured or underinsured, or if the person at fault was a hit-and-run driver. Victims who have this policy can still receive the help they need even if the hit-and-run driver is never found.
Seeking help, Speak With a Local Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
If you or a family member has been a victim of a hit-and-run crash, you may need to seek legal advice from a Los Angeles car accident attorney. Insurance companies may be reluctant to pay you the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to find out if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.