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Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Hit-and-Run DUI Driver

Imagine that you are enjoying a quiet Monday evening in Pacific Beach. The sun is setting, the breeze is warm and light, and you are strolling peacefully down the sidewalk. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, a car crashes into you, breaking your bones, traumatizing you, and entirely upending your life. Then, to add insult to very serious injury, the driver, instead of apologizing, offering to help, and be held accountable for injuring you, attempts to flee the scene.

This nightmare scenario actually happened in Pacific Beach this month. The pedestrian was a 23-year old man just minding his own business. The driver was a 26-year old woman traveling with a 3-year old child in the back seat, and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit and run, and endangering a child after causing a second accident – a collision with a parked car – shortly after the initial incident. Shocking as the whole account may be, it really happened. What you need to know is what to do if something like it happens to you. Step 1 is getting to the hospital for treatment of your injuries. Step 2 is contacting a skilled and experienced San Diego personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit is a Civil Claim For Damages

The DUI, hit and run, and child endangerment suspect described in the nightmarish account above will face two kinds of liability: Criminal and Civil. The state California hates drinking and driving, and punishes it harshly. That is the case even when no one is hurt or endangered. When an injury or fatality results from drinking and driving, or when a minor or child is endangered, the criminal actions are prosecuted as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, and punishments stemming from conviction increase dramatically. This is all just on the criminal side of the justice system. On the civil side, the DUI, hit and run, and child endangerment suspect is looking at a personal injury lawsuit for damages from the pedestrian  This person – the pedestrian – suffered a broken leg and pelvis. These are very serious injuries that require substantial medical treatment and recovery time. 

During the treatment and recovery time, the victim may not be able to work, and thus lose much-needed income. In addition, there is the severe emotional trauma that results from being violently struck by a vehicle while walking down the sidewalk. All of these wrongs caused by the allegedly drunk driver are termed “damages” by the law. A personal injury lawsuit seeks to recover these damages, in the form of financial compensation, from the party responsible for causing them. If you have been injured by the careless, reckless, or intentionally wrongful acts of another, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Following a Hit and Run Accident

Unexpected personal injuries suffered in an automobile accident are a nightmare. In the midst of living your life, pursuing your goals, and enjoying the good times, you are sidelined or worse through no fault of your own. Besides the injuries, there is partial or total damage to your vehicle, leaving you to deal with repairs or a replacement, as well as the hassle of filing an insurance claim. As bad as this scenario sounds, it is far worse when the driver responsible for your personal injuries flees the scene of the accident. When you are injured by a hit and run driver, you have to track down the driver in addition to recovering from your injuries and dealing with vehicle repairs – all while missing work and income while recovering from your injuries.  

When this catastrophe happens because of someone else’s negligence, reckless, or intentionally wrongful conduct, it is time to rely on a dedicated and experienced California personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney will work to track down the hit and run driver and explore all avenues in both the criminal and civil justice systems to punish the hit and run driver for cowardly and criminal conduct, and seek the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and other losses.

Separating the Accident from the Leaving the Scene of the Accident

A hit and run automobile accident that causes personal injuries represents an interesting set of facts in the eyes of the law. To understand the legal recourse available to you, it is helpful to separate the accident from the at-fault driver’s leaving the scene of the accident. The accident itself is commonly the result of negligence. Negligence is a legal term for when a duty owed by one person to another is breached, thereby causing the non-at-fault party to suffer damages. In the hit and run car accident context, the duty is that of safe driving. All drivers owe a duty to all other drivers to drive safely in accordance with the rules and regulations of the road. This duty can be breached by driving drunk, driving too fast or too slow, swerving, texting while driving, failing to obey stop lights and turn signals, and much more. When a breach causes an accident to happen, the negligent driver may be held legally responsible for the non-at-fault driver’s personal injuries, property damage, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses.

In a hit and run accident, the at-fault, fleeing driver may be held criminally responsible. Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injuries without identifying oneself to the other party or parties involved is a felony in the state of California and is subject to harsh punishments. If you have been injured in a hit and run car accident, contact a skilled and experienced California persona injury attorney today.