Uninsured Motorist Accident
Did Someone Without Auto Insurance Hit you?
Motorists run away after they cause crashes for many reasons. Many tortfeasors (negligent drivers) fear the additional consequences. Perhaps they were impaired or had no drivers’ license. Other drivers do not realize they caused a crash. That’s especially true with regard to pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
But for the most part, tortfeasors simply think they can get away with it. They believe the chances of getting caught are so remote that the reward outweighs the risk. In a civil proceeding, however, that’s usually not true.
Whether or not the negligent drivers is caught, at the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim, we are here to help. Our team of Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorneys gets to work quickly, collecting evidence on your behalf. Once we locate the tortfeasor, we tenaciously press the issue. If the negligent drivers remains at large, victims still have legal options.
Tracking Down the Tortfeasor
There are several reasons why successful hit-and-run prosecutions in criminal court are somewhat rare. For one thing, the burden of proof is very high. Prosecutors must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So, unless a witness saw the tortfeasor driving the car at the time of the crash, there is probably not enough evidence.
Furthermore, even in fatal accident claims, police officers often give up. That’s usually true unless the tortfeasor voluntarily confesses or there is a treasure trove of circumstantial evidence.
But at the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim, our Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorneys do not give up. Instead, our professional team, which includes top investigators, collects evidence like:
- Additional Witness Statements: For various reasons, many witnesses do not loiter at accident scenes so they can talk to police officers. But a good Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorney knows how to reach these people.
- Body Shop Investigations: Hit-and-run tortfeasors do not take damaged vehicles to Service King. Instead, they go to underground body shops where the mechanics do not ask questions. Attorneys know how to find these places.
- Video Footage: Security, traffic, and other cameras cover almost every intersection in Los Angeles. Even if the camera only caught part of a license plate number, that evidentiary nugget might be enough.
Assume a red-light camera shows a dark sedan with license plate number 6LIJ2E4 approaching the accident scene at the time of the crash. Eyewitnesses said the tortfeasor was driving a blue sedan.
This evidence would probably not hold up in criminal court. But in civil court, it’s enough for a Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorney to identify the vehicle’s owner. It is more likely than not that the owner was also driving the vehicle. So, in most cases, an attorney could secure damages.
Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorneys and UIM Claims
Most people have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. If that’s the case, and they are injured in hit-and-run accidents, they can usually file claims against their own insurance companies.
Since the insurance company wants to keep its customer happy, these claims often settle quickly and on victim-friendly terms. However, these claims are also complex. So, an experienced Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorney should always provide guidance and legal advice.
This Coverage Can Benefit Pedestrians, Bicyclists And Family Members
The victim need not have been in a motor vehicle. UIM coverage usually applies to bicyclists and pedestrians as well. It can also provide coverage if you were injured while:
It will also cover:
- Any adult family members living in your house
- Your minor children
- Any injured passengers
In California, insurance companies cannot raise consumer rates if they file such claims.
Third Party Liability
Vicarious liability is a related issue. In many crashes, especially semi-truck crashes, the injuries are so severe that individual tortfeasors do not have enough insurance coverage to provide fair compensation.
In many cases, uninsured motorist coverage fills in the gap. In other cases, a vicarious liability theory might be available. Respondeat superior, which often applies in the aforementioned truck crashes, is a good example. This legal doctrine has three basic elements:
- Foreseeable: A car wreck must have been a foreseeable result of the employer/employee relationship. That’s usually the case unless the tortfeasor committed a criminal act, such as stealing a car from the garage.
- Employee: If the employer controlled the driver to any extent, the driver was usually an employee. So, regular workers, owner-operators, and independent contractors are usually employees for negligence purposes.
- Scope of Employment: Similarly, any act which benefits the employer in any way is usually within the scope of employment. That could include driving an empty truck on the highway. The free advertising benefits the employer.
Respondeat superior usually applies in other commercial operator claims as well, such as Uber drivers and taxi drivers.
Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorneys will give you a Free Consultation
Uninsured/underinsured motorist claims are quite complex, but legal options are available. For a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorney, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We have recovered millions of dollars for those in need, and we want to help you, too. Call us at 800-LAW-TALK (529-8255) or send us an email.