If every motorist in California fully complied with state traffic laws, driving would be a much less dangerous activity. Unfortunately, motorists choose to do all kinds of illegal things, from driving without a valid license to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Those who cause collisions while clearly in violation of the law typically know that legal and financial consequences could result from their decisions. Oftentimes, they are eager to avoid those consequences if at all possible. Those who fear the consequences of negligently or recklessly causing a crash might violate yet another law by fleeing the scene of a California car wreck instead of checking on the other people involved and reporting the matter to law enforcement, for example.
The other party may be left wondering what to do when someone flees after causing a crash, turning it into a hit-and-run collision. Even though an injury victim may not be to blame for the crash, they may worry that they will incur massive costs if the other driver cannot be held accountable.
The at-fault driver is still responsible
Fleeing the scene of a collision does not automatically eliminate someone’s responsibility toward the other people involved in the wreck. It simply adds another layer to the process of making a claim for compensation. The person who did not cause the crash will need to report the incident to the authorities. An investigation could potentially result in the identification of the other motorist. Then, it will be possible to make a claim against their liability insurance coverage for costs related to property damage and any bodily injury suffered in the crash. If they do not have insurance or have very low coverage, then a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist may be the best way to recover the costs generated by the crash.
If the police are unable to locate the other motorist, then the person not at fault for the crash will have few options. Often, the best solution may involve using their insurance coverage, if they have the right kind of protection. Uninsured motorist coverage is what will typically apply after a hit-and-run collision. Those without this supplemental form of coverage may find themselves unable to seek compensation following a crash for which they were not at fault.
Knowing the rules that apply after different types of wrecks may benefit those worried about the financial aftermath of a car crash in California. Seeking legal guidance as proactively as possible can be helpful as well.