August 20, 2019 Category: Hit and Run
A young man may never walk again after he was struck by a hit and run driver in the Fairfax district. According to reports, the man was struck from behind while standing at the trunk of his car. He was crushed between the two vehicles on impact. The hit and run driver put his car in reverse, backed up, and sped away from the scene.
The victim was rushed to the hospital, but doctors fear that he will lose both of his legs. At the very least, he will be severely disfigured and disabled for the rest of his life.
If he chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit, he could potentially recover significant compensation for his injuries.
Hit and Run Accident Victims Can Seek Damages For Medical Bills, Disability
A car accident can be incredibly violent. When pedestrians are involved in a collision, injuries tend to be catastrophic. That’s because there’s no safety equipment or large steel frame to offer protection. Pedestrians, like the man involved in the Fairfax district hit and run, are vulnerable to debilitating injuries.
These severe injuries often have long term consequences. Accident victims may be unable to walk, work, or enjoy their lives. This can have significant financial consequences for years to come.
In California, they have the right to ask for compensation from whoever caused them to get hurt. Compensation can include money for:
- Medical Bills
- Medical equipment
- Necessary renovations to make a home handicap accessible
- Pain and suffering
- Past, present, and future lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
When you’re injured in an accident, you want to maintain some control over how your damages are identified and valued. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can critical in doing so.
What Happens if the Hit and Run Driver is Never Identified?
Police are working around the clock to identify and locate the hit and run driver. However, what will happen if they’re not successful? Doesn’t a statute of limitations restrict the amount of time the victim has to demand money?
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years. As a result, injured victims typically have two years from the date of an accident to file a claim for damages.
However, the state recognizes that there might be times when it’s impossible to comply with the strict two-year window. Under very specific circumstances, the state allows a degree of flexibility. In other words, there are certain times when an exception to this rule will apply.
California will allow the statute of limitations to be tolled until the hit and run driver is identified and found. This means the victim doesn’t have to worry about losing out on valuable compensation just because the hit and run driver is able to evade the police. The statute of limitations will begin to run once the driver is in the state of California and able to defend a lawsuit.
What If the Hit and Run Driver Can’t Pay the Damages?
Let’s say the hit and run driver is located. He had car insurance, but only purchased the minimum coverage required by the state. The victim’s damages exceed what insurance can and will pay.
In order to recover additional money, the victim can file a lawsuit against the hit and run driver. However, the victim is afraid that even if he wins, he won’t end up getting the money he’s awarded.
He’s afraid that the driver won’t have the resources to pay the settlement or jury award. Courts will try to do whatever they can to get a defendant to fulfill a settlement agreement or verdict.
How? It might require the defendant to liquidate assets or agree to pay over time. Or, if the defendant is married or in the middle of a divorce, a court might go after the couple’s community property.
In California, what’s owned by one spouse is generally considered to be owned by the other. If the driver’s wife has a lucrative job or many valuable assets, those might be targeted to satisfy the case.
The bottom line is the courts will go to great lengths to help plaintiffs recover damages that are awarded in a settlement agreement or by a jury.