CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Hit-and-Run on Interstate 5 in Sacramento

Area North of Sutterville Road Site of Hit-and-Run

A hit-and-run on Interstate 5 north of Sutterville Road happened on August 27 at approximately 2:42 in the afternoon. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) representatives, a white vehicle struck a Kenworth semi pulling a gas tanker. The CHP said that there was some confusion over whether the white car that left the scene was a Trans Am, Toyota, or a Pontiac. The trucker was uninjured in the hit-and-run collision. At this time, the CHP is investigating the incident. Traffic was moving in the area.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

The number of hit-and-run accidents in California is at an all-time high, with more drivers fleeing the scene. Although this type of accident can be considered a felony when a person is injured or killed in the crash, a hit-and-run can also be charged as a misdemeanor. The latter charge is levied when there is property damage without injuries. 

The most common reason for a misdemeanor hit-and-run occurs when a vehicle strikes a parked car without the driver leaving sufficient contact information for the owner. In such cases, it is best to leave the contact information under the windshield wiper, so the owner will find it when they return.

Reasons Drivers Flee the Scene

There are many reasons that drivers flee the scene. Some of the most common are:

  • Stolen vehicle: In some cases, the driver does not own the car or have permission to drive it. In other cases, the vehicle is stolen. The driver does not want to be caught and flees the scene.
  • Warrants: The driver of a fleeing vehicle may have warrants out for his or her arrest. The warrants could be for a long list of traffic tickets or another crime. If the driver remains at the scene, they fear they will be caught so they leave.
  • Employer-owned vehicle: Some drivers are using a company-owned car or truck and fear repercussions if the employer finds out they were in an accident. Rather than lose their job, they flee the scene.
  • No insurance: In California, roughly 15 percent of drivers are uninsured. Such drivers can be fined, have their driver’s license suspended for up to four years and be made to pay for all costs incurred by an injured party. If an uninsured driver is in an accident, they are likely to run. 
  • No driver’s license: Some motorists do not have a driver’s license. If they are in an accident, they can be fined and even sent to jail for up to six months. So, once again, many motorists in this position choose to run from the scene.
  • Impaired driver: A drunk driver, especially one who has been charged with this offense in the past, will suffer penalties if they are caught driving under the influence. 

Compensation in a Hit-and-Run

Many people wonder who will pay for their injuries when the at-fault party leaves the scene. In California, auto insurance companies offer drivers an uninsured/underinsured policy. This coverage will pay for the medical expenses and lost wages the injured person suffers. Even if the injured person does not carry this coverage, if someone in their household does, they can make a claim using their family member’s policy. There is never an increase in premium for doing this.

Investigation in a Hit-and-Run Crash

At our firm, we dispatch our investigators to the scene of the accident. They work to identify the hit-and-run driver in several ways. They speak to witnesses to see if they remember any pertinent information about the driver, the vehicle or the license plate number. 

In some cases, they canvass the neighborhood to see if anyone can supply information. Using accident reconstruction techniques, the investigators map out how the crash happened and determine liability. They also obtain digital video footage of the collision from traffic surveillance cameras and ask witnesses if they captured it on their cell phone. Once all the data is compiled, our attorneys use it to build a robust case for the client.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, and I am an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Phone me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to me online.

I’ve helped the good people of Sacramento since 1982 in all types of car accidents, wrongful deaths, and traumatic incidents.

Learn more about my law firm by clicking on the links below:

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