Hit and Run Car Accidents in Banning

You should speak with an experienced lawyer at Walter Clark Legal Group immediately when you are involved in hit and run car accident in Banning. Hit and run crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries and extensive property damage.

If you were injured in this type of auto collision, you could file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for expenses such as hospital bills and other non-economic damages.

Hit and Run Violations Can Help Prove Negligence

Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal under state law. The crime is a misdemeanor under California Vehicle Code § 20002 when a person does not stop after getting into a car accident that causes property damage.

If a driver flees the scene of an accident that also led to an injury, the crime is a felony under Cal. Veh. Code 20001. The defendant must have had reasonable knowledge that the injury occurred and willfully failed to stop and provide assistance.

In many cases, a driver will flee the scene of a crash because they were responsible for causing the incident. These situations can often involve violations of other state driving laws, like driving while intoxicated.

To prove negligence under state law, a plaintiff must establish that a driver had a duty of care and breached that duty. Additionally, the defendant’s breach must proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff must also suffer actual damages from the breach.

While a hit and run incident is not conclusive evidence of negligence, evidence that a driver fled the scene can help establish negligence because state law mandates that every driver has a duty to stop after an accident resulting in property damage or injury.

A proactive Banning hit and run accident attorney could analyze the specific facts of your case and help determine the best evidence to establish negligence. This evidence can include police reports, photos, videos, or witness statements.

What Types of Damages Can a Person Pursue After a Hit and Run?

A person injured in a Banning hit and run wreck can pursue a range of damages through their negligence lawsuit. Damages are broken into several different categories.

Economic Damages

Economic damages can include the victim’s measurable financial losses. For example, plaintiffs can pursue recovery of their medical bills, vehicle or other property damage, lost wages from missed time at work, and legal expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are available to compensate the victim for losses that are more difficult to quantify, such as:

  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship with a spouse or partner
  • Any other harm that can have a long-term impact on a person’s quality of life.

Punitive Damages

An injured victim can also pursue exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, under California Civil § Code 3294. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant when they act intentionally or maliciously. Evidence that a defendant fled the scene of an accident with an injured victim can help establish exemplary damages.

Limitations on Damages

The court will consider a range of factors when deciding on the amount of appropriate damages. However, plaintiffs should know that the state has laws that could limit or prohibit their ability to recover damages in a Banning hit and run crash case.

California Proposition 213 addresses a range of situations, including when a driver lacks insurance. Cal. Veh. Code § 16056 requires that drivers maintain minimum insurance thresholds.

Proposition 213 limits a driver’s ability to recover certain types of damages if they are uninsured or at fault for causing the accident. The law generally prohibits an uninsured driver from recovering non-economic damages.

Additionally, the rule prohibits intoxicated drivers or motorist guilty of another felony during the accident from recovering non-economic damages.

The state’s doctrine of pure comparative negligence can also limit a plaintiff’s recovery if they share responsibility for the negligence that caused the accident. Established in cases such as Li v. Yellow Cab Co., 13 Cal.3d 804 (1975), the doctrine limits the plaintiff’s maximum recoverable damages by their percentage of fault.

Talk to a Banning Attorney Soon About Your Hit and Run Accident

Do not hesitate to speak with a seasoned lawyer at Walter Clark Legal Group for a consultation if you or your loved one were the victim of hit and run car accident in Banning.

A knowledgeable attorney at our firm could advise you on the next steps in filing your claim. Call today.

Walter Clark Legal Group

Walter Clark Legal Group
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