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Information and Statistics about Hit and Run Cases

26th June 2009
By Mesriani Law Group in Legal
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On the early morning of March 29, 2009, Adrianna Bachan, 18, and Marcus Garfinkle, 19, both college students, were crossing on a street when suddenly they were hit by a speeding vehicle.

According to some witnesses, Garfinkle was caught in the windshield of the car which dragged him for about 500 feet. The driver stop and a man came out of the vehicle, not to help the victims, but to remove the student from the windshield before fleeing.

The two victims were brought to the hospital but Bachan died due to multiple injuries. Miraculously, Garfinkle survived despite being smacked into the car's windshield and being dragged for a few feet.

Because of media attention, the driver was caught and was charged with vehicular manslaughter while her husband, who pulled Garfinkle from the windshield, remains at large.

Bachan is only one of the 1,500 people who die from hit and run car accidents each year in the US. According to statistics, Hit and Run Cases in Los Angeles and in all parts of California are the highest in the country in terms of fatality, reaching to 7.8 percent.

Also, in a report conducted by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety, 18 percent of hit and run fatalities are pedestrians.

Legal consequences of hit and run accidents

1. A driver of any vehicle involved in a road accident which has injured or killed another person should immediately stop. Failing to do so means that he has committed hit and run and shall be punished by a fine and imprisonment that will depend on the state's law and the severity of the damages.

2. The driver should stop even if the person he hit is at fault. If he flees the scene, he will not be charged with gross negligence but he will face hit and run charges.

3. Victims who sustained injuries in a hit and run car accident can file personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

4. Surviving relatives of victims who died in a hit and run car accident can file wrongful death claims. Meanwhile, they should file their claims within the period of statute of limitation. (Each jurisdiction has its own statute of limitation, and in the state of California, the deadline is two years after the accident happened.)

When a driver has only damaged properties, the law requires him to do the following:

1. Stop at the nearest location where the vehicle will not impede the flow of traffic or jeopardize the safety of other motorists.

2. The person should present his driver's license and vehicle registration to the owner of the damaged property or to the other driver. Meanwhile, the owner of the damaged property should also present identification card or driver's license.

3. If the owner of the damaged is not present at the scene, the driver should leave a written notice bearing his name, address, and contact number to a conspicuous place on the damaged property or vehicle.

4. A driver who failed to comply with all these requirements is guilty of misdemeanor and will face jail period not exceeding six months, or/and will pay for fine not more than $1,000.

For your concerns regarding Hit and Run Cases in Los Angeles, you can consult with our experienced personal injury lawyers. You can visit our website to avail of our free case evaluation.
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