Hit and Run Accident at Sacramento Intersection
A hit and run accident that resulted in injuries occurred at the intersection of Greenback Lane and Garfield Avenue on November 26 at approximately 5:33 p.m. A witness who called the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to report it also followed the hit and run driver to a Safeway parking lot where both vehicles stopped. Paramedics with the Sacramento Fire Department were also called to the scene to administer aid to the injured party. CHP is currently investigating the accident to determine why and how it happened. At the time of this report, authorities have not said whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the hit and run accident near Starbucks in the Foothill Farms area.
What Are Hit and Run Accidents?
Such accidents occur when a driver hits another vehicle, an inanimate object, or a person and leaves the scene without providing identifying information or aid to an injured individual. This illegal act is considered a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Accidents where a person is seriously injured or killed are usually considered a felony.
How Many Hit and Run Accidents Are There Each Year?
There is an average of 682,000 hit and run accidents every year. This figure has been consistent since 2006, with yearly fatalities increasing by 7.2 percent since 2009. Sixty-five percent of the fatalities involve pedestrians and cyclists. There are approximately 327 deaths due to a fleeing driver in California annually with 2,049 nationwide. Sacramento is ranked seventh in the number of deaths due to a fleeing driver.
Why Do Drivers Leave the Scene?
With the severe penalties that accompany hit and run accidents, it is reasonable to ask why drivers would leave the scene. There are several common reasons:
- The driver may not have a driver’s license and does not want to be caught.
- A fleeing driver may be intoxicated or impaired by drugs. While the use of even legal substances such as marijuana is permitted, it is not permissible to drive while using it.
- Drugs or related paraphernalia is in the vehicle. This could lead to charges of selling the substance.
- The driver is facing an outstanding warrant for their arrest.
- The vehicle is not insured.
- The driver may be using a company car and is afraid of workplace complications.
- The car may be stolen.
How You Can Help
Depending on an injured person’s injuries, it is possible to gather some important facts about the accident, such as:
- The license plate number: Even if it is not possible to remember the entire number, a portion of it can help. Try to write it down, or note it on your cell phone.
- Note the make, model, and color of the vehicle.
- Notice the direction the vehicle went as it left. This will help police in their quest to find the driver.
- Describe any damage to the fleeing vehicle. This is helpful in identifying it. Also, the driver may take it to an automotive shop for repair. Police often check shops in the area to see if the vehicle was brought in.
- Note the time and location where the accident happened. This information is also helpful when you call 911.
- If possible, photos of the damage your vehicle sustained are helpful.
Who Pays for the Damages When the Driver Leaves the Scene?
This is a reasonable and consistently asked question. Every effort is made to apprehend the perpetrator, however, this does not always happen. It is unjust that the injured party would have to pay for something they did not do. That is where their uninsured motorist protection coverage on their car insurance comes into play. This insurance is offered to every motorist in the state. It is not mandatory, and some motorists do not take it. If uninsured motorist protection is part of your auto insurance policy, you are covered when you are driving, walking, or cycling. It covers all the damages you incur when in an accident, as well as your family members and other passengers in the vehicle. In the event that you do not have this coverage and another family member living with you has it, you are also covered. The premiums are not increased when uninsured motorist protection is used.
How an Attorney Can Help
At our firm, we send our investigative team to the site of the accident. To help apprehend the fleeing driver and look for negligence, they canvass the neighborhood for information. Our investigators also speak to witnesses and obtain videos of the accident from traffic surveillance and security cameras in the area. We also study police reports for inaccuracies. Once this data has been accumulated, we turn it over to our legal team, who use it in building a strong case for our client.
Sacramento Auto Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento auto accident lawyer. Don’t try to represent yourself in a hit and run accident. We are here to offer free and friendly advice if you call us at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400. You can also contact us online.
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