Before you become involved in the insurance claims process, it is in your best legal and financial interests to contact an attorney knowledgeable in such matters. While in an ideal world, filing a claim would lead to an ideal resolution for those harmed by a motor vehicle accident, that is not always how the world and life works. Often, people realize that filing a claim and having it favorably resolved can be a contentious endeavor, especially when considering that insurance companies lose, so to speak, when they have to pay out on claims. Therefore, more often than not, there is a financial incentive for companies to be less than helpful in resolving such matters. While insurance companies cannot act illegally, it can be difficult or inconvenient to go through the claims process. This is where we come in: to assist you when you decide to deal with insurance claims for various damages such as those involving personal (bodily) injury, property damage, windshield claims, and third party insurance claims. Recently, there’s been increased media coverage concerning insurance claims for property damage as a result of natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, and yes, even earthquakes, something we deal with often in California. Regarding property damage claims, especially those that result from natural disasters, legal assistance can be especially useful since, it has been found that people have more difficulty getting claims paid out when there is an influx of claims stemming from a common disaster.
Hit and run
Hit and run offenses are serious crimes, and the seriousness is more pronounced when it results in bodily injury or even property damage, depending upon the extent of such damage. When involved in a car accident, the drivers involved have the legal responsibility to stop at the scene of the accident in order to exchange information. This is either done with the other driver, if there is one, or the owner of the property that has been damaged. So, for instance, if a driver is involved in a single car accident and hits a residential fence and play set, he or she is legally obligated to stop his or her vehicle and inform the property owner of what occurred and exchange insurance information. In the event that the property owner is not home, then the driver should call legal representation in order to safeguard his or her rights. Now, in the case of an accident where there is bodily injury, and serious injury at that, the first call to be made should be to emergency services, usually 911. Failing to render aid in an accident that results in bodily injury, like failing to stop at the scene of a hit and run can be a criminal act, and a particularly serious offense if injury turns to fatality. In such a case, it is wise to call emergency services and then call counsel.
Hit and run cases can result in misdemeanor of felony charges, depending upon the nature and severity of the situation. As already mentioned, hit and run accidents that result in serious injury or death are virtually guaranteed to be elevated to felonies, whereas hitting a fence of other property could be a misdemeanor. Even if you find it difficult to anticipate what crime you may be charged with, remember this: it is our job to assess your charges, if already filed, or the potential for certain charges. It is your job to comply as much as possible with the law to make criminal process easier for you, when you are charged. And also, remember this: unless your own life is at risk, the attempt to preserve life in such an accident is critically important, it can change the facts of a case in which a driver leaves a badly injured person to die alone, to a case in which a driver is moved into action to attempt to help the injured and then call legal counsel. It is an easy thing to understand: only harsher charges and consequences can follow in the event of a hit and run that results in serious bodily injury but especially in the death of another.
In order to discuss this matter and receive a complimentary consultation. We understand. In such accidents, adrenaline is running and thinking can become clouded, but if you can remember to provide aid as much as possible in the worst of cases (bodily injury) and also contact legal counsel, you will be on good and solid footing.