Is leaving the scene of an accident the same as a “hit and run?”

Is leaving the scene of an accident the same as a “hit and run?”

If you’ve been in an accident where a person was hurt, or where property was damaged, you are legally required to identify yourself. If you leave the scene of an accident without doing this, even if you stop to see if other people are ok, you’re technically committing a hit and run. In a minor fender bender, you might only need to exchange contact and insurance information. With a more serious accident you should wait until the police tell you you can leave. If you’ve been involved in any sort of automobile accident, you should contact one of the expert Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Ellis Law. Only with proper legal counsel can you be certain your rights are being protected. 

Why do people leave the scene? 

An accident can cause a release of adrenaline and trigger your natural “fight or flight” instinct. Unfortunately, this leads to some people running away, especially if they think they were at fault. Someone who is intoxicated, is driving with a suspended license, or has a warrant out for their arrest may fear interacting with the police. If you’ve been in an accident and you’re not seriously hurt, it’s a good idea to take down the license plates of all the cars involved. Often times, people will stop to see if there are any major injuries, then try to slip away before the police arrive. 

How will leaving the scene affect my personal injury lawsuit? 

Every case is different. Your personal injury attorney can help you make sense of the situation and tell you what to expect. Generally, drivers who leave the scene of an accident that they caused are penalized more than drivers who do the right thing and stick around until they’ve identified themselves or spoken with the police. If you’ve left the scene of an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may still be able to seek compensation, though you should expect diminished damages.  

Identifying a hit and run driver can be difficult, but with modern technology, it’s getting easier every day. Many intersections (where most accidents happen), have traffic cameras, and many roadside businesses have surveillance cameras. The police can use this footage to track down the liable driver. If they are caught, you’ll most likely see a very generous settlement from their insurance company. 

Schedule a 100% free and confidential consultation today 

The laws concerning traffic accidents and hit and runs can be complex, but in the end, they’re designed to help accident victims get back on their feet. Ellis Law offers free and confidential, no-obligation consultations for anyone who has been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. Even if you were the one who left the scene, it’s still worthwhile to schedule a consultation with us. We’ll go over the details of your crash and the immediate aftermath, and help you figure out if you should seek damages from the other motorist or their insurance company. 

Top-notch legal representation with no upfront fees 

We know the thought of hiring an expensive attorney can be daunting. You may think you just don’t have the funds to hire a lawyer. Ellis Law has been representing the good people of the greater Los Angeles area for over two decades. We know that not everyone has the cash on hand to pay a lawyer upfront. If we decide you have a case, we’ll get to work right away, with no money down. We get paid by contingency fees, which means we don’t see a dime until you are awarded a jury verdict or agree to a fair settlement.  

We’ve won over $350 million for our clients 

It’s a figure that we’re very proud of, and it’s a figure that continues to grow. We have a reputation for treating all of our clients, large and small, as valued VIPs. Make an appointment with one of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law today and explain the details of your accident and injury to us. When your health, happiness, livelihood and financial future are on the line, make sure you have a leading California law firm in your corner.