Hit and run accidents occur when any of the persons involved in an automobile accident leave the scene of the accident without providing information to the other parties involved. Hit and run incidents can sometimes lead to very serious legal and criminal penalties.
Either party may be found guilty of a hit and run, whether it be the party responsible for the accident or one of the victims. It’s important that both parties stay around to exchange information, since both parties may be injured, and liability may not be fully determined until trial. In Los Angeles, hit and run accidents can be common due to the high volume of traffic on the freeways and side streets, especially during rush hour.
Common Injuries from Hit and Run Cases in Los Angeles Cases
Hit and run cases often involved certain types of injuries. These can include:
- Whiplash injuries (especially in rear-end collisions where the rear driver leaves the scene
- Various head, neck, back, and spinal injuries
- Broken bones, cuts, burns, or abrasions
A number of hit and run cases may involve an automobile striking a bicyclist or a pedestrian. These types of hit and run cases are actually somewhat common, since the automobile will not have sustained much damage in such types of collisions, leaving the driver free to flee the scene if they choose to. Hit and run cases involving bikes or pedestrians often involve more serious injuries and can sometimes be fatal.
In the city of Los Angeles, it is often common for drivers to stop in the middle of the road and exchange information on the road or highway. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to additional pedestrian-automobile accidents. When exchanging information, it’s always best to pull to the side of the road if possible in order not to block traffic.
What Are Felony Hit and Run Charges?
Most hit and run charges result in misdemeanor penalties. These include some monetary fees (around $1000 in L.A. County) and short jail time (usually up to a year). However, some cases may involve felony charges. Penalties for felony hit and run may include higher fines and time in prison for more than one year.
Felony hit and run may result due to factors such as:
- Serious injury or death of another person
- Alcohol consumption (DUI/drunk driving)
- Extreme recklessness or negligence
- Repeat offense (the defendant has a prior record of hit and run charges)
Depending on the facts, there may be some defenses available in a hit and run case. These are best handled and overseen by a criminal lawyer. Other consequences may include 2-3 points on one’s driving record, and probation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Hit and Run Charges in Los Angeles?
Hit and run accidents can often lead to very serious criminal charges. You may need to hire a Los Angeles lawyer if you need representation for a hit and run case in Los Angeles, California. Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice and guidance during the case. Also, your attorney will be able to assist you when it comes to raising a defense theory for your case.