If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you are not alone. Hundreds of people are injured each year in California in a hit and run accidents, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Part of obtaining justice in a hit and run accident case involves obtaining optimal compensation for your losses, damages, and injuries.
Compensation in a California Hit and Run Accident Case
If you have been injured in a California hit and run accident case, the nature and extent of compensation to which you are entitled to depend on the facts and circumstances of the accident. With that understood, there are some types of losses, damages, and injuries that commonly are compensable in a California hit and run accident case. This include:
- pain and suffering
- medical bills and expenses
- permanent injury or disability
- permanent disfigurement
- lost wages
Because of the nature of a hit and run accident, California law may permit you the ability to seek what are called punitive damages in a lawsuit. Punitive damages represent additional compensation when the conduct of the person who caused an accident is considered to be particularly reckless.
Punitive damages are designed to not only provide additional compensation but also to punish particularly egregious conduct. Fleeing the scene of an accident often is considered to be this type of egregious conduct.
California Statute of Limitations in a Hit and Run Accident
California law includes what is called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations provides a specific timeframe by which a lawsuit in a hit and run accident case must be filed. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident in California, you must file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident.
If you fail to meet the deadline established by California law, the consequences are likely case ending. If you do not get a lawsuit filed within the timeframe established by the statute of limitations, you will probably be precluded forever from pursuing a lawsuit to obtain the compensation to which you otherwise would be entitled.
Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer
The best course you can take to protect your rights and interests is to take a proactive approach when it comes to retaining the services of a California personal injury attorney. As a general rule, a personal injury lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with an injured person.