Reporting Hit-and-Run Accidents in Fresno
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno car accident lawyer. Most residents in California drive to and from work, home, and errands. The many trips made by Californians mean that car accidents can occur at any time. Some of these accidents tend to occur due to hit-and-run drivers. It is important to exercise additional precautions to protect yourself in the event of such an incident.
According to California state law, the general definition of a “hit-and-run” is based on a party leaving the scene of an accident without identifying themselves to the other parties involved. Motorists involved in traffic accidents are required to remain at the scene to exchange information and/or await the arrival of officials. It is important to note that it does not matter who is at-fault in an accident- even if you are following the rules of the road and another vehicle strikes yours, you must pull over. Failure to do so can not only result in civil penalties but also potential legal issues.
Why Hit-and-Run Accidents Occur
Many motorists who flee the scene of an automobile accident do so in fear of being detained for a separate offense. However, when found by authorities, these parties will likely face various charges such as:
- Distracted Driving
- Drunk Driving
- Driving a Stolen Vehicle
- Driving without Insurance
- Reckless Driving
Documenting evidence is the first step towards protecting yourself in a hit-and-run accident. Having sufficient evidence to provide a law enforcement agency and your automobile insurance policy is critical.
You will want to document the following:
- Date and Time of the Accident
- Accident Location
- Images of the Accident Scene
- Property Damage
- Suspect Vehicle, if Possible
These are key elements to tracking down the negligent party and bringing them to justice.
Filing a Report with Fresno Police
A report may be filed online with the Fresno Police Department only if it involved a hit-and-run resulting in property damage. If the hit-and-run occurred along the state highway, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) would be the agency in charge of handling such reports. Hit-and-run victims will need as much evidence as possible to file a complete report with the appropriate law enforcement agency for their incident.
Misdemeanor versus Felony Hit-and-Run
The level of the offense is based on the nature of the accident. If no injuries were sustained in a hit-and-run accident, the suspect will likely face misdemeanor charges. If injuries and/or death occurred, the suspect can face a felony hit-and-run charge.
Protection Against Hit-and-Run Drivers
Insurance is a key defense against hit-and-run drivers. A good type of coverage to equip on an automobile policy is Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Protection (UM). This is an optional coverage that is not required by state law. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. This coverage is intended to cover policy holders that have fallen victim to an accident involving a hit-and-run party, uninsured party or under-insured party. Receiving all necessary injury treatment is crucial prior to discussing settlement. For more information, consult with an experienced Fresno car accident lawyer.
Fresno Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno car accident lawyer. It is overwhelming to be involved in a car accident, especially if a hit-and-run driver is involved. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, please call me at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. I can also be reached online at AutoAccident.com.
Feel free to browse our client reviews listed on:
I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This forum is comprised of trial lawyers with million-dollar case verdicts and settlements.
Please take a brief moment to peruse our Prior Verdicts and Settlements page.