Two Injured in Merced Hit and Run Accident
Two people were injured in a Merced hit and run accident on the night of August 7, 2019. The three-car crash occurred shortly after 8:10 p.m. on northbound Highway 99, just south of R Street. As traffic slowed for a construction zone, a 36-year-old Atwater man driving a 2005 Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck reportedly rear-ended a 2014 Ford Focus. The impact of the collision propelled the Ford into a 2016 Toyota 4Runner, driven by a 45-year-old Conroe, Texas man. The Chevrolet driver allegedly left the scene, and an alert for his location was issued by police. Meanwhile, the drivers of the Ford and Toyota were evaluated at the collision site for injuries suffered. The suspect and his car were later located in the area of 2nd Street and T Street. He was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run causing bodily injury and felony driving under the influence. It is unknown whether he will face additional charges for the incident.
What to Do After a Merced Hit and Run Accident
Collecting information after a hit and run accident may be challenging, particularly if you have been injured. If possible, try following these steps to protect your legal rights and wellbeing after a crash:
- Contact Police: When property damage and injuries are involved in an accident, authorities should be notified immediately. You will want police to come out and take a traffic collision report at the scene. When this report is ready, request a copy and submit it to your insurance carrier.
- Seek Medical Attention: First responders should be called to the scene of a crash whenever anyone is injured. No injured person should be moved unless they are in a life-threatening situation.
- Exchange Information: Whenever a driver is involved in an accident, they are required by California law to stay at the scene and exchange information. This includes names, addresses, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and auto insurance policy information.
- Talk to Witnesses: If anyone witnessed the hit and run, try to take down their contact information. Their statement is essential for proving your accident to authorities and insurance claims adjusters.
- Keep Damaged Items: You will want to hold onto any personal belongings that were damaged in a car accident, such as car seats for children. Insurance companies will want photos of the car seat and serial number to cross-reference before issuing a reimbursement of the damaged item.
- Call Your Insurance Company: An insurance company should be notified of a hit and run accident immediately. If the other driver has little to no insurance, you will want to let your insurer know and request a copy of your declaration page. This way, you can see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist protection to cover your damages.
For more details on what to do after a hit and run, please feel free to download The Ultimate California Auto Accident Handbook for free on Amazon. If you would like to know whether an auto accident claim is worth pursuing, watch this video below.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury?
Under California law, an injured person has two years from the date of an auto accident to file a personal injury claim. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. If a claim is not filed within this deadline, the case will likely be barred from moving forward.
What Does a Settlement Cover for Personal Injury?
A personal injury claim is generally covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When a responsible driver does not have insurance, an injured person may use the uninsured motorist coverage on their own car insurance policy for recourse. This may help cover medical expenses, lost wages, permanent disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. While a claim is being brought against your own insurer, this does not necessarily mean they will be on your side for providing a fair settlement. This is why you want an experienced Merced personal injury attorney to handle your case. A lawyer will ensure you are not taken advantage of by your insurance carrier while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Merced
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced personal injury lawyer. Getting into a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming, particularly if it involves a hit and run driver. An experienced attorney can help in these situations by investigating the accident and tracking down the responsible party to hold them accountable for damages incurred. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash caused by someone else, please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
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