What You Need to Know If You Are Involved in a Car Accident With a Hit-and-Run Driver
A hit-and-run driver who killed two men in a traffic accident at Cabrillo Park Drive and Fruit Street in Santa Ana was in custody after surrendering to police. The driver, 21-year-old Jorge Ocampo, was a known gang member who ran a stop sign in his black Audi and crashed into a minivan, killing its two occupants. Witnesses reported that following the accident, Ocampo called a friend to pick him up from the scene instead of calling 9-1-1 for the victims.
Leaving the scene of a car accident can be a criminal offense
California law makes it a criminal offense for any driver to leave the scene of an accident where another person has been injured or killed. The driver is required to stop and exchange information with the other parties. If there is a death, there is an obligation to report the accident to the nearest Department of California Highway Patrol or police station.
What you can do if the other car flees the accident scene
If you are injured in a car accident and the other vehicle flees the scene, you are not required to take the law into your own hands and chase the vehicle. Rather, remain at the scene of the accident and:
- Call the police and describe the fleeing vehicle and the direction in which it was heading.
- Write down the information you remember about the other vehicle, such as a partial license plate number, or the vehicles color, make or model. If you saw the driver, write down any details you have about the appearance of the driver.
- Have pictures taken of the damage to your vehicle.
- Look for witnesses who could identify the other car.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage will apply to a situation where the identity of the other vehicle is not known or the driver wasn’t insured.
If you are injured in an accident and the responsible party flees the scene and cannot be found, an experienced California car accident attorney can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.