Hit and Run Car Accidents in El Centro

An injury from a hit and run car accident in El Centro could entitle you to pursue a claim for compensation through insurance or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, hit and run car accident claims can be difficult to navigate when the culprit is not easily identifiable. The seasoned car accident attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group have experience managing these types of cases and may be able to help you recover from your losses. Learn about the key issues impacting these cases and how our firm could take the lead in your case by investigating facts and holding responsible parties accountable for your injuries.

California Laws for Hit and Run Collisions

Division 10 of California’s Vehicle Code outlines the duties and obligations of drivers involved in a traffic collision. Generally, drivers must stop their vehicle after a crash that causes personal injury or property damage to another and follow the requirements under Sections 20003 and 20004. These obligations include:

  • Stopping the vehicle
  • Exchanging contact information
  • Reporting the accident to the police
  • Providing reasonable assistance to injured parties

Failing to comply with these duties could result in criminal charges with varying fines and jail sentences, depending on the circumstances.

What to Do After a Hit and Run Car Accident

After getting to a safe location on the side of the road, a person involved in a hit and run crash in El Centro should report the incident to law enforcement and wait for emergency responders to arrive. Take note of key details leading up to the wreck and provide this information to the police for their reporting. Important facts that could be useful in pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver could include the following:

  • How the accident occurred
  • A description of the driver or passengers
  • The make, model, and color of the vehicle
  • License plate information and other identifying marks
  • The direction the car went immediately after the accident

Identifying the negligent driver can be the most difficult part of filing a personal injury claim. Police may also lack the resources to investigate the case properly. Additional work may be necessary to find the at-fault driver, such as gathering details from available witnesses, reviewing video recordings from vehicles or traffic cameras, and conducting other investigative efforts—all of which a proactive attorney could handle.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit or Insurance Claim After a Hit and Run

If the driver is found, an injured party may be able to proceed with filing a personal injury lawsuit for their damages, including:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any other accident-related losses

However, to succeed in this claim, the hit and run driver must have been responsible for negligent or intentional misconduct that caused the accident. While an unidentifiable driver may limit options for pursuing personal liability, a claim for compensation could still be possible through available insurance coverage.

Prop 13 Limits Certain Damages for UM and UIM Drivers in California

One reason for a hit and run accident is that the driver may be an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Since the passage of Prop 13, California has strict rules on the damages a driver can claim when they are uninsured or at fault for an accident. Drivers cannot claim non-economic damages, which include losses like pain and suffering, but could still claim other economic damages.

The California Statute of Limitations for Hit and Run Cases

California has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, which includes claims involving a hit and run car wreck in El Centro. An injured person must file suit within this period to preserve their right to seek compensation at trial. A late filing of a claim could lead to a dismissal of the case.

Contact Our El Centro Car Crash Lawyers After a Hit and Run

Hit and run car accidents in El Centro are unfortunate events that add a layer of complexity to already difficult situations. Our experienced lawyers may be able to assist you in locating at-fault drivers and pursuing available claims for your injuries in court or through insurance coverage. Contact Walter Clark Legal Group for a consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals as soon as possible after your accident.

Walter Clark Legal Group

Walter Clark Legal Group