A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver leaves the scene of the accident rather than providing their insurance and contact information to the other party. These incidents can occur when a driver hits a parked car and leaves or in a collision on the road. When you are involved in a hit-and-run while you are in the vehicle, it can make a stressful situation even more overwhelming. It’s helpful to know what to do in a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles.

What to Do In a Hit-and-Run Accident in Los Angeles?

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run

A hit-and-run is a crime, and it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It doesn’t matter whether the driver who left the scene was at fault or not for the accident; they are still guilty of a hit-and-run. A driver either has the responsibility to stop and exchange information or leave a clear note with that information. When a driver doesn’t do this, they commit a hit-and-run. If you are in a hit-and-run, there are several steps you should take to better protect yourself:

  1. Note Identifying Information: If you are able to, gather identifying information about the driver and their vehicle when you realize that they are leaving the scene. This includes the car’s color and make, any unique features about the car, the driver’s appearance, and the license plate. Write this down as soon as you can.
  2. Move to a Safe Location: If the scene of the accident is unsafe, such as by blocking the road, drivers should move their vehicles or themselves aside to a safer location nearby.
  3. Call 911: Report the accident and any injuries that you, passengers, or others at the scene have sustained.
  4. Get Medical Care: When emergency medical services arrive, be sure to receive the medical care you need promptly. Even if you don’t think that you’re injured, get examined by a professional. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, may not show symptoms that you notice for hours or days.
  5. Document the Accident: Take photos of the crash and your injuries.
  6. Find Witnesses: Eyewitnesses can be crucial in identifying the at-fault driver or providing supporting testimony. Get contact information for these individuals.
  7. Contact Your Insurance Provider: Report the accident to your insurance company, as well as any damages and injuries.
  8. Find an Attorney: Talk with a car accident attorney afterward.

How Can You Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run?

One of the many stressful aspects of a hit-and-run accident is not knowing how you will financially cover the costs of property damage, medical bills, and other losses. If the driver who left the scene is discovered, and they were the party at fault for the accident, you can file with their insurance provider.

Many hit-and-runs occur because the driver is at fault and knows that they do not have enough insurance coverage. If they do not have insurance coverage, you can file a civil claim against them. An identified hit-and-run driver will face criminal charges in addition to any civil claims filed by those they injured.

If the driver who left the scene was the driver who was at fault for the accident, you cannot file with their insurance provider unless they are identified. This does not mean that you are entirely out of options, however. You could recover compensation with your own insurance, such as through collision coverage or uninsured motorist protection coverage. This can help you recover a portion of the damages you are owed.


Q: What Do You Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in California?

A: After a hit-and-run accident in California, you should take some of the following steps:

  1. If possible, note any information about the driver, their car, and their license plate.
  2. Check for injuries to yourself and other passengers.
  3. Move somewhere out of the way and safe if possible.
  4. Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries.
  5. Receive emergency medical care if needed.
  6. File a police report.
  7. Take photos of the accident and your injuries.
  8. Get contact information from witnesses and any drivers involved who did not leave the scene.

Q: How Do They Investigate a Hit-and-Run in California?

A: The authorities can investigate a hit-and-run in California by reviewing the scene of the accident and interviewing those involved. Important evidence that can be gathered from the scene, eyewitnesses, and other sources include:

  • Tire marks and damage to vehicles
  • Transferred paint where vehicles collided with other cars or objects
  • Statements from the drivers or passengers still at the scene
  • Surveillance footage, dashcams, and other forms of CCTV
  • Information about the potential hit-and-run driver, their vehicle, and license plates

Q: How Much Money Can I Get From a Hit-and-Run in California?

A: The amount of money you can get from a hit-and-run in California depends on many factors, the most important one being whether the hit-and-run driver can be found. If they can, you can file a claim against their insurance provider or a civil claim against them directly. These claims could recover the full extent of your damages. The driver will also be charged with a hit-and-run, which could result in you being awarded restitution. If the driver is not found, your compensation may be limited to the uninsured driver coverage of your own policy.

Q: How Do You Report a Hit-and-Run in Los Angeles?

A: You report a hit-and-run in Los Angeles by filing online with the Los Angeles Police Department if the hit-and-run has only resulted in property damage. However, if the damages are greater, you can call the LAPD’s non-emergency number. If you have just been involved and injured in a hit-and-run, you should call 911 to get emergency medical care and report the accident. You can then give a police report to the officer on the scene if you are able to.

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

An attorney can help you determine what options you have to recover compensation after a hit-and-run. If the hit-and-run driver isn’t found, you have limited options for recovery, and an attorney can help you determine how to get the most compensation from these avenues. They can also conduct their own investigations of the scene of the accident, gathering important evidence to support your insurance claim. An attorney can help you get the most from any claim you make.

At Easton & Easton, LLP, we have helped out clients with personal injury claims and insurance claims for decades. If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, contact our firm to see how we can help.