Hakiminjurylaw: Van Nuys Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Bicyclist

Van Nuys Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Bicyclist

October 31, 2023

Police are on the lookout for the driver of a white sedan who fatally struck a bicyclist and dragged his body approximately one mile.

The driver made a U-turn at Van Nuys and Burbank, causing the body to become dislodged from the vehicle. The driver then continued northbound on Van Nuys Boulevard and then went eastbound on Hatteras Street. “It’s very sad for this to happen. It’s very unfortunate. We’re asking people to be more cautious around this time, especially with a lot of pedestrians out on the street during the holidays,” an LAPD officer said.

The suspect vehicle is described only as a light-colored older model sedan. No other details were available.

Criminal Hit-and-Run vs. Civil Hit-and-Run

Fewer than 10 percent of hit-and-run drivers are caught and successfully prosecuted in criminal court. In most cases, like the above story, investigators simply have very little to go on. About a zillion white sedans roam the streets and highways of SoCal. When failure stares them in the face, police investigators, like many of us, quickly move onto the next task.

Furthermore, the police officer turnover rate has increased 40 percent since 2021. Departments simply cannot commit staff resources to what would most likely be a wild goose chase.

These obstacles make it almost impossible for police investigators to collect sufficient evidence to bring an indictment, let alone win a case. 

The burden of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. So, unless a credible witness got a good look at the driver at or very close to the scene, the charges probably won’t hold up in court. If such a witness was at the scene, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) probably wouldn’t have left the scene in the first place.

However, in civil court, a Los Angeles Hit and Run Accident Attorney must only establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). If an attorney has enough evidence, like a general vehicle description and the evidence discussed below, to locate the vehicle’s owner, that evidence usually holds up in court.

Even if the owner had an ironclad alibi, it’s more likely than not that the owner was driving the car at the time of the wreck.

Tracking Down the Owner

How does a Los Angeles Hit and Run Accident Attorney locate vehicle owners in these situations? We’re glad you asked.

Video camera footage from several blocks away from the scene, or even several miles away, is usually compelling, once again due to the low standard of proof. In the above story, if a white van passed under a traffic camera at the corner of Van Nuys and Oxnard a few minutes before or after the wreck, once again, it’s more likely than not that this vehicle was the hit-and-run vehicle.

In civil court, it doesn’t matter if the defendant “did it”. The only thing that matters is what a victim can prove or not prove.

Contact Our Experienced Hit and Run Lawyers in California 

Hit-and-run victims and survivors are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced California Hit and Run Accident Attorney, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

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