Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg has declared war on Hit and Run accidents in the San Fernando Valley! As a virtual lifetime resident of the San Fernando Valley, Barry P. Goldberg, can no longer accept the almost daily news of tragic hit and run accidents. Therefore, Mr. Goldberg will continue to point out way to combat the problem and he will continue to aggressively represent injured victims of this callous crime.
Double Fatal Hit and Run Collision in Tujunga
The latest outrage to upset Mr. Goldberg (and hopefully the rest of the community) occurred on April 27, 2018 at approximately 8:30 pm in Tujunga. Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division is requesting (again) the public’s help in bringing the “hit and runner” to justice. In this case, a Chevy Tahoe made a left turn on Foothill in front of a motorcycle causing the collision. The motorcycle lost control and hit a parked car.
In the collision, both the driver and the passenger on the motorcycle died at the scene of the crash. The Tahoe fled the scene. The suspect is still at large and the LAPD need our help if anyone witnessed the crash or has information about the driver.
Reward, Reward, Reward Alert!
Here is where it gets interesting. The Los Angeles City Council is offering a reward of up to $50,000 to community members who provide information leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise. It is time for us to come together as a community and become involved. The City Council has made it worth your while. Would take a cell phone picture if you saw a hit and run if it could bring you and your family a reward of $50,000? I say yes! Let’s get involved!
What do you do if you are in an accident?
Don’t forget the rules. If you are involved in an accident (even if you do not think it was your fault) or if you think no one could possibly identify you, you must pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. You must notify emergency services and remain at the scene to identify yourself.
The consequences of a hit and run conviction can be very severe, including jail time and loss of your driving privileges. Do not risk it. Be a good citizen—-even if you may not be insured. The authorities will actually reward you for doing the right thing. Immediately, call the LAPD.
What if you are a Hit and Run Victim?
First of all, do not panic. If you can safely identify the vehicle that hit you, try to write it down. Or, if a cell phone is handy, try to take a picture of the hit and run vehicle and its license plate. The LAPD can sometimes identify a vehicle based on color, make, model and a partial license plate.
When it is safe to do so, look around to see if there are any potential witnesses. Flag them down and ask for their cooperation. This is a perfect time to mention that the City Council has a very lucrative reward program that should incentivize witness up to the tune of $50,000. Next, look around the area of the crash. Many times, local businesses have surveillance cameras which could identify run away vehicles. Ask the business nicely to save and/or copy the video before it is erased in the normal course. Offer to pay for any expenses associated with the copy. Our office has successfully handled cases where the business allowed our client to video the businesses video with a cell phone!
What is the Best Way to Recover from a Hit and Run Accident?
The answer to this question is easy— consult with experienced counsel right away. Many drivers do not realize that their own Uninsured Motorist insurance will cover a hit and run accident. There is a catch. In order to qualify for Uninsured Motorist coverage under a policy issued in California, 1) there must be a Police Report made; and 2) the insurer must be notified within 24 hours (or reasonable soon thereafter).
It is important that the hit and run victim not wait for any reason to fully and completely report the accident. While it may seem like a hassle to report to the LAPD and to the insurance company, it is absolutely necessary to protect your claim.
Don’t worry, the hit and runner is not “off the hook” if you make a claim. The criminal investigation stays open and your insurer will be “subrogated” in your place to claim monetary damages. So, the insurer has an ongoing interest in catching the bad guy even if you have already been paid.
Spread the Word about Hit and Runs!
In the end, it is up to all of us to stop the hit and run epidemic. Take a moment and remind your kids and family that they must stop and exchange information or risk serious consequences. Next, encourage your friends and family to be pro-active—do not let your neighbor be a hit and run victim. Snap a picture of a license plate. Be willing to provide information to the LAPD. The rewards can be substantial.