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WHAT TO DO IN HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT IN CALIFORNIA

Posted by attorney Manuel Juarez

HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT IN CALIFORNIA

Last June my wife and I were involved in a Hit and Run auto accident. We were driving at approximately 55-60MPH, when all of the sudden we felt this impact on the driver's side and it continued for several seconds, as if the driver wanted to push us out of the road. I fought to get control of the car and avoid literally being thrown into the retainer wall or flipping my car.

As soon as we were able to control the car, we moved to the side of the road and my spouse was already calling 911. At the beginning, it was all confusing as we had been pretty shaken up by the experience. We thought that the offending driver was going to stop but to our surprise instead of slowing down, when he saw us pulling to the shoulder, he increased his speed and disappeared into the dark highway. I tried to chase him but my car would not drive over 40 MPH.

We left the Highway and told the police where to find us. They questioned us for over 35 minutes and during that time the culprit was gone. We do not know whether he had insurance or was drunk. Luckily, we have Uninsured/Underinsured insurance protection, as well, as a high medpay coverage. Thus, we have been able to get treated by our doctors and physical therapists who are doing a great job. This experience has taught me a couple of lessons which I would like to share with all of you highway drivers:

  1. Check you Uninsured/undrinsured limits of your insurance policy. Get coverage in the neighborhood of $250-500k.

  2. Get the Highest MedPay that you can afford. We are glad we did.

  3. Get a reputable insurance agent and a solvent insurance company. Hopefully, one that has been in business over 30 years.

  4. Do not give chase or attempt to follow the offending driver. Concentrate on your passenger's health and drive to a safe place.

5., Call the police and report the accident; and finally

  1. Call your insurance company and notify them of your accident.

Obtaining high insurance coverage will not insulate or immunize you from a future accident but if you manage to walk away from one you will be better off if you have high limits to protect you from an uninsured or underinsured driver.

In a recent report, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, released an article stating that: "... suspended/revoked and unlicensed drivers are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash..." And, although the actual number if unlicensed drivers is unknown, Many of these unlicensed drivers are driving without insurance.

In case of an auto accident, if you follow the advice above, you will be able to recover for your losses and get the right medical treatment when you most need it. We did.

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