A person will be charged with a Hit and Run in Los Angeles when they have cause injury or damage to person or property, and fled the scene without leaving contact information. Both of these elements must be present prior to charged being filed. For example, if there was no injury or damage to person or property then there is no Hit and Run, even if the driver left no contact information. Accordingly, if there is damage or injury, and the person left contact information, it is not the criminal charge of Hit and Run.
If there is a Hit and Run, and charges could be filed against a person, there are certain strategies and steps that can be utilized to help alleviate potential charges or severity of consequences. The longer a person’s property sits damaged, or a person remains injured with mounting health bills, the angrier a person will be come and look for retaliation. Let’s consider an example to demonstrate this concept.
Diana is driving home from work on a rainy night and cannot see too far in front of her car. As she is driving, she does not see a parked car, and hits it as she is driving. It is late and it is pouring so instead of stopping to leave her contact information, Diana goes straight home thinking she will visit the person the very next morning. However, Diana keeps getting busy and has work and other obligations that two weeks go by before she is able to visit the house. In those two weeks, the owner of the vehicle has gotten increasingly angrier to the damage, and the nerve to a person to not come forward and take liability. He has already called his insurance company and he has informed the police as to the Hit and Run. As a result, officers are already looking for Diana’s vehicle so that they can press charges.
If Diana had contacted the person whose car was damaged the next day she could have paid for damages as negotiated between the two of them without involving the insurance companies or the police. The person may also have been less angry about the damage and more willing to resolve it instead of staying angry. The angrier the person whose property is damaged gets may be more likely to seek legal counsel, and less likely to want to compromise or settle the matter without involving authorities.
Having a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer on your side can help mitigate the situation. The sooner you seek the legal help of a professional, the attorney can immediately contact the person who has been injured or whose property has been damaged and start negotiations. This can help alleviate the anger of the situation and allow for the person to be more amenable to settlement and reimbursement. This is beneficial as it will help you avoid criminal charges as much as possible. A Hit and run conviction can cause extensive damage to a person, not only financially, but to their reputation and career as well. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a person being charged seek the help of a knowledgeable attorney right away!