How a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Can Help After an Accident

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Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can cause severe injuries with life-changing consequences. This is why injured victims are encouraged to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. However, in the event of a hit-and-run accident, the circumstances are more complicated.

While legal representation is not always necessary in a personal injury case, working with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney following a hit-and-run accident can be extremely beneficial. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, consider how an attorney can assist in filing a pedestrian accident claim. 


What Is Considered a Hit-and-Run Accident?

This type of traffic accident is when a driver is involved in a collision with another vehicle, a person traveling on foot, or an object, and then leaves the accident scene without stopping to provide the required contact information with the other involved party.

Depending on state laws and the severity of the traffic accident, hit-and-run cases can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. This can result in fines, imprisonment, suspension of a driver’s license, and a civil lawsuit. Common examples of hit-and-run accidents are:

  • Hitting a parked car and leaving where the accident happened without notifying the owner
  • Hitting a pedestrian or a bicyclist and driving away without checking on the victim’s condition or calling for help
  • Hitting another moving vehicle and fleeing the scene without exchanging information or waiting for the police to report the event
  • Causing a chain reaction of collisions and leaving the accident scene without taking responsibility or rendering aid


Damages from a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

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If the guilty party can be identified, then that driver’s insurance company can be held accountable for the sustained losses. The most common types of damages from hit-and-run cases include the following.

Medical Bills

In 2014, more than 14,000 pedestrian accident victims were injured in a motor vehicle-related accident, resulting in serious injury with devastating outcomes. These injuries can add up to thousands in medical expenses, accumulating from an ambulance ride to the hospital, emergency medical treatment, surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical attention.

Pain and Suffering

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Compensation for physical injuries and medical treatment is the most apparent form of recoverable damages for car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury accidents. However, pain and suffering are often overlooked–unknowingly by the victims and intentionally by the other driver’s insurance company. Although this form of injury is just as impactful as physical injuries, the lack of visibility makes it more difficult to collect compensation from insurance companies.


A pedestrian is completely vulnerable in a car collision, which is why many pedestrian accidents result in serious injuries with long-term ailments. These types of injuries may require living assistance or changes made to the victim’s current living situation. Therefore, the cost of hiring a caregiver or modifying a home to accommodate a disability can also be compensated.

Lost Wages

After suffering a severe injury that causes disability, the affected victim may not be able to return to work. This can result in lost wages or loss of earning potential. In the event of this type of loss, the victim is entitled to compensation for the income or wages that would have been earned if the injury was not sustained.

Property Damage

Damaged mobile phone with cracked touch screen.

Any personal belongings that were destroyed in a hit-and-run accident can be compensated. If the accident was a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident, car repairs motorycle repairs can be reimbursed. If the accident involved a hit-and-run with a pedestrian or bicyclist, then belongings like a smartphone or a bike can be reimbursed.

Wrongful Death

Legal action can also be taken by the surviving family members following a fatal crash. The law recognizes that victims or their families should have to bear the financial and personal burden of pedestrian accidents. Therefore, wrongful death claims can compensate for medical expenses, funeral costs, burial expenses, loss of companionship, and financial losses. 


How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Will Help in a Hit-and-Run Case

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If an injured pedestrian is left stranded following a hit-and-run accident, the fleeing driver can face criminal charges and will be held liable for damages. However, that driver must be located before a claim can be filed. In the event the other driver is not identified, the victim still has options to collect compensation from his or her own personal insurance company. 

When consulting with experienced pedestrian accident lawyers, they can discuss other legal options. For instance, if uninsured motorist coverage is a part of the victim’s personal insurance plan, then it can be utilized to recover some losses.

A hit-and-run driver is considered an “uninsured” motorist, so the same coverage in a pedestrian car accident can be applied.  Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) typically falls under this policy and will cover medical bills for sustained injuries. 

Additionally, medical bills may also fall under auto coverage, such as Medical Payments (Med Pay). However, this only pertains to medical treatment and will not cover other losses, like loss of earnings or property damage. 

Coverage may vary with certain plans, but a pedestrian accident attorney can review coverage details and confirm what the victim is entitled to. 

When the Hit-and-Run Driver Is Located

If the police were contacted after the accident and an investigation to identify the hit-and-run driver has begun, a pedestrian accident lawyer can offer their legal expertise for when that at-fault party is located. 

If the hit-and-run driver is caught, an attorney can assess the extent of damages, hold the liable party accountable, and recover maximum compensation for economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.


What to Do After Hit-and-Run Car Accidents

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Hit-and-run drivers who do not stop after causing a collision typically flee from the scene due to being intoxicated, in a state of panic, or fearing arrest. To help locate the reckless driver and get the compensation that is owed, victims of hit-and-run accidents should proceed with the following steps.

1. Remember the Driver’s Vehicle

There are thousands of car accidents reported in Orange County every year. In fact, there were nearly 500 hit-and-run cases were reported in 2020 alone.

After a hit-and-run accident, try to immediately take a picture or write down the driver’s license plate number, along with any other descriptive details of the vehicle involved.

For example, anything about the other vehicle and/or driver, like the make, model, and color of the vehicle is helpful. Similarly, knowing the gender, appearance, hair color, and other distinguishing features will help identify the at-fault driver.

2. Take Pictures and Videos

Make sure to document the damage or state of your vehicle at the hit-and-run crash scene. If it is severe damage, taking pictures or shooting a video will definitely help. Do not forget to take pictures of skid marks and debris on the road.

It would also be a good idea to ask the witnesses if someone captured the accident. This will help you prove in court that the accident was not your fault (only if you did not cause the accident).

Also, if you are able to react quickly enough, try and take pictures and record the fleeing driver. This visual evidence will help the authorities track down the hit-and-run driver.

3. Talk to Bystanders or Witnesses

If they are present, speak to witnesses and bystanders and collect their statements and contact information. Witness testimonies are a valuable piece of evidence in hit-and-run cases. If the other driver is located, these first-hand accounts can be used when a car insurance claim against the at-fault party is filed.

Additionally, witness statements are helpful when working with the authorities to prove fault. If a witness saw that the other driver was texting when the car crash occurred, then that driver could be found guilty of distracted driving and negligence.

4. Contact the Police

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Getting in touch with the local Newport Beach police is one of the most important steps following hit-and-run accidents.

Contact the police and file an official police report about the hit-and-run collision, so an investigation to locate the at-fault driver can begin as soon as possible. It does not matter if the accident appeared major or minor; always report it.

Tell the police officers about the accident and provide any information that may seem helpful in locating the vehicle involved. Additionally, the police report can be used as evidence when it comes time to file an insurance claim.

5. Seek Medical Assistance

Always seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes, an injured pedestrian may not realize the severity of injuries, not knowing that they have sustained hidden injuries, like TBI (traumatic brain injury) or internal bleeding.

This is also important because some injuries develop or worsen with time, becoming apparent once much time has already passed and the injury has become fatal. However, when an injured person is treated by a doctor, these types of injuries can be detected early on.

Furthermore, these findings will be logged in a detailed medical report, as well as list other symptoms that were sustained as a result of the hit-and-run car accident. This medical record is proof that injuries were sustained and provides an itemized invoice of how much it costs to treat the injuries. This piece of evidence is helpful when filing a claim and trying to recover compensation.

6. Speaking to Your Insurance Provider

Depending on the insurance company, hit-and-run accidents may be eligible for collision coverage. California law requires all drivers to have liability insurance to cover damages caused to other drivers.

Therefore, report the accident to the insurance company and ask about options coverage for a hit-and-run accident.

Sometimes filing a claim with an insurance carrier can be difficult and confusing. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can handle the hit-and-run claim and work to obtain the damages owed.


Find a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Newport Beach, California

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For victims of hit-and-run accidents in Newport Beach, California, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. A pedestrian accident attorney specializing in hit-and-run accidents is a valuable resource in holding the at-fault party accountable and fighting to get clients the compensation they deserve.

For assistance regarding your case, contact Beach Accident Attorneys. We provide a free consultation and can address any questions you may have regarding the car accident.

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