Few tragedies remain more disconcerting than irresponsible drivers fleeing the scene of a motorcycle accident. Courts and police call this a hit and run. It is a crime and the basis of a civil lawsuit. In any event, all riding incidents are potentially devastating, but hit and run strikes are dastardly.
Anytime a driver leaves the scene of a fallen rider, the wounded person is much more likely to be run over by another vehicle and left utterly defenseless. Despite having a duty to stop and exchange info, Good Samaritan laws or not, basic civics and humanity dictate that at fault drivers stay at the accident scene. Plus, they must provide basic security and comfort to the fallen victim.
In California, leaving the scene could easily subject the wrongdoer to jail time. Even if the injuries and damage to the property are not significant, huge penalty assessments and fines follow.
Michael Ehline of Ehline Law Firm is the motorcycle rider’s friend. As a rider himself, he wants to provide helpless feeling victims with a sense of confidence. Their life is not over. And despite the anonymous nature of the assault, there is legal hope at an economic recovery. This helps deal with the terrible aftermath of a bad spill on a motorbike.
In fact, Greater Los Angeles hit-and-runs have been happening at historic rates since 2009. Also, that year alone, at least 48% of reported vehicular incidents were hit-and-run type accidents (Source.)
Sadly, in most cases, the violent and sudden manner in which these strikes occur, makes it nearly impossible for the victims to provide an accurate description of the hit and run driver. So for most victims, unless some severe and rapid investigations are undertaken, there will be no wrongdoer to sue.
Simple Steps All Motorcycle Hit and Run Victim Should Take.
So what should the injured rider do, where does he or she turn for help? Well, as always, we recommend getting medically stable before doing anything else. As a victim, you have a duty not to exacerbate your injuries. Failing to get well, just because you think there is no one to pay for your care, is a bad move.
Of course, if you are clear-headed and capable, you must try and remember the license plate info, write down names of people who saw the event, as well as their contact info, and call 9-1-1 to seek to capture the fleeing suspect.
But, as in most cases, if you can’t assemble these details right then and there, your motorcycle attorney should be able to assist you. Because of this, you can rapidly hire an accident reconstructionist, investigator, and forensic expert.
So now they can assist in obtaining surveillance tapes, and names or percipient witnesses. Also, they can canvass those who live or work in the locale, and so on. Most of all, this can mean the difference in assisting law enforcement in capturing the evil-doer rapidly and having him or her “pay up.”
What About Other Potential Defendants?
Once the bad actor is hunted down, captured, and prosecuted or plea bargained out, the court will order restitution payments, even if there is no insurance. But good luck getting a criminal on the way to jail or probation to pay. First off, most lawbreakers are not in the propertied class, to begin with. Many of these types of people the have nothing to lose in their mind's eye.
That being said, there are often other parties who are responsible who can be held to answer for the costs. For example, a FedEx truck driver who fled the scene, or pizza delivery guy’s boss can be legally liable. So they are liable under the doctrine of respondent superior.
Damages Cover Bills.
Irrespective of who is paying, the damages will include things like expenses for physical therapy, doctor’s visits, lost past and present wages and other income, as well as the lack of productivity, such as when you are partially disabled and slowed in your normal pace.
Of course, in cases like bike wrecks, there is usually peeled back skin. Also, the attendant bad rashes from friction and asphalt burns remain excruciatingly painful. The upside is that a major damages component in PI law is pain and suffering.
The aftermath of a hit and run, trauma has dollar signs attached to it when the jury awards damages. If the case is intentional, or extremely reckless more issues come into play. For example, in the case of an extremely intoxicated driver, the trier of fact can award punishment damages.
These remain unusual “punitive damages.” So in extraordinary cases, the assailant may pay out a mother lode to the victim.
Hire a Hero
Are ready to lose that zero and hire yourself a hero? Do you need a lawyer? If so, don’t call anyone until you speak with Mr. Michael Ehline.
If you are seeking an outspoken and warmhearted advocate, contact Ehline Law Firm. Call (213) 596-9642. Or scroll up to our easy to use contact form.
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