People in California who are involved in, or witness, a hit and run accident should know the steps to take to make sure damage and injuries are kept to a minimum. A hit and run often involves an unattended parked vehicle, but in more serious cases it involves either a moving vehicle, bicyclist or pedestrian.
According to Findlaw, there are a number of steps to take in the event an accident occurs. The first is that the scene should be assessed for safety, and medical help needs to be given for any injuries. Next, the police should be called to make an official record of the incident. In a hit and run situation, as many witnesses as possible should be sought for information that helps law enforcement track down the offender. Details such as license plate state and number, color and type of vehicle and any other identifying information should be recorded. Finally, the insurance company should be called in order to file a claim for the accident.
California has consistently higher rates of hit and run accidents compared to the rest of the country. In fact, according to the LA Times, around 20,000 hit and run collisions occur just in Los Angeles every year. It has become such an issue that a new alert system was activated in 2015 to help find those involved. Some of the alerts include:
- Publication of details on social media
- Sharing the information with taxi drivers, bus drivers and other city-employed drivers
- Monetary rewards for information that leads to a conviction of the guilty party
City officials hope this new system will lead to more arrests of individuals who leave the scene of the crime.