Sacramento Hit and Run Near Mack Road On-Ramp
A hit and run resulted in injuries on northbound State Route 99 near the on-ramp for Mack Road on February 7, 2020. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), four vehicles were involved in the accident. The four were identified as a Toyota pickup, a Hyundai, a Jaguar sedan and a Honda. The Hyundai sustained major damage, and an occupant in the vehicle was reported as suffering multiple injuries. The vehicles were moved to the right-hand side of the road. There is no information provided at the time of this report about the fleeing vehicle and its driver. All lanes were shut down as debris from the hit and run accident was cleared.
Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run accidents are a common occurrence in Sacramento. Although leaving the scene of an accident is classified as a criminal offense with heavy penalties, more and more drivers are fleeing the scene of a collision. Several reasons why there is an uptick in drivers who flee are:
- Warrants: Having an outstanding warrant is a sure-fire way of being arrested. Most warrants are for traffic offenses. As a participant in an accident, the warrant will show up, and drivers mistakenly flee, enhancing the degree of trouble they are in.
- Lack of insurance: The number of uninsured drivers in Sacramento is high, as it is in the rest of California. In order for a vehicle to be registered in California, drivers must prove they are insured continuously. Lacking this, the owner is subject to hefty fines, and their vehicle may be impounded. If a motor vehicle operator who lacks insurance is involved in an accident, their driving privileges will be suspended. To avoid this, drivers may flee the scene of an accident.
- No driver’s license: According to California Vehicle Code 12500, this is a serious offense and can be criminally prosecuted. The driver can be charged with a misdemeanor and $1,000 in fines and receive a jail sentence of six months. To avoid this, the driver may flee the accident site.
- Drunk or drugged driving: Impaired drivers may flee if they are impaired by drugs or alcohol, fearing they will be caught.
- Fear: Many drivers panic when they are in an accident.
What Should I do if I’m in a Hit and Run Accident?
There are a number of things you can do when a driver flees the accident site:
- Try to remember the license plate number: Even if you only remember a portion of the plate number, police can still track down the vehicle.
- Note the appearance of the vehicle: If possible, try to note the make, model, and color of the fleeing vehicle.
- The direction the vehicle took: If possible, jot down the direction the vehicle went when the driver left the accident site. You’d be surprised how many drivers live in the same area as the hit and run accident. At the least, it will help police target their search.
- Take pictures of scratches on your vehicle: Scratches often have a bit of paint from the fleeing vehicle. Since manufacturers use specific colors on certain models, this can be useful when tracking down the vehicle.
- Note information about the driver/vehicle: Appearance of the driver and decals on the vehicle may make the hit and run driver/vehicle easier to find.
What an Attorney Can Do to Help
At our firm, our investigators are dispatched as soon as possible to the accident site. They are active in the search for the runaway driver from the start. After interviewing witnesses and checking police reports for inaccuracies, they will canvass the area for leads. In addition, the investigators look for videos of the accident from traffic surveillance cameras and nearby homes and businesses. Once the data is accumulated, it is released to our legal team, who use it to help our clients win the compensation they deserve.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
All drivers are offered uninsured motorist protection in California. With it, they are covered up to the level of the policy amount for damages done by an uninsured motorist. If an injured person was harmed by a fleeing driver, they will be able to collect under their own policy. If they lack this protection and a member of their family who lives with them has it, they will also be covered without increases to their insurance policy.
Car Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Reach out to me if you were injured in a hit and run accident by calling (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also contact me online if that is more convenient for you.
I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates, which honors members who have won more than $1 million for a client. I am also a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel that offers membership to those lawyers who are recognized as providing unparalleled legal counsel.
Learn more about my practice by using the following links:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/crash-car-car-crash-accident-1308575/
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