Fleeing the scene of a car accident is both illegal and immoral, especially if the hit and run accident involves injury or death to a pedestrian. After both a car and pedestrian accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, a driver has quite a few duties, which, if violated, may lead to criminal prosecution.
Contrary to the popular belief, stopping the vehicle at the scene of the accident is not the only duty a car driver has after a hit and run accident. Our pedestrian accident attorney Los Angeles from Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg lists the duties of drivers after being involved in a motor vehicle crash as follows:
- Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident, if possible, in a manner that does not obstruct traffic and does not contribute to more collisions;
- Immediately provide the injured pedestrian with his or her name, phone number, address, and insurance coverage policy or the name, phone number, address, and insurance policy of the owner of the vehicle he or she was driving at the time of the collision; and
- If necessary, provide reasonable assistance to the injured pedestrian.
Can you leave a written note and then flee the scene of a pedestrian accident?
“What if I’m in a hurry?” you may be wondering. As you may or may not know, many drivers in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California choose to leave the required information in a written note in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other damaged property and then flee the scene instead of waiting for the owner of the vehicle or other property that has been damaged.
This tactic is popular in car accidents involving a parked vehicle or a vehicle or property whose owner cannot be immediately located or identified. As you may have guessed, leaving the required information in a written note prior to leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is not appropriate or lawful when the accident involves a pedestrian, though if the injured pedestrian agrees to let the driver go after receiving the required information, the driver may be legally allowed to flee the scene.
“However,” our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney warns, “That does not change the fact that the driver has a legal duty to provide reasonable assistance to the injured pedestrian.”
What to do if you were injured as a pedestrian in a hit and run?
A car driver involved in a hit and run accident is legally required to fulfil all of the above-mentioned duties regardless of how and why the accident occurred. In fact, a car driver must fulfil his or her duties regardless of fault in the accident and regardless of whether the crash was unavoidable.
What many car drivers in California do not realize is that car drivers are legally required to fulfil the above-mentioned duties even to injured passenger(s) in their own vehicle. In other words, if a car driver chooses to flee the scene of a car crash after causing injury to a passenger in his or her own car, he/she may be held responsible for hit and run.
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident as a pedestrian and have trouble identifying the at-fault car driver, our experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Los Angeles advises to gather as much information as possible, including but not limited to the model of the vehicle and its license plate number. Finding witnesses is also critical, and so is taking photos and videos at the scene of the hit and run accident.