The number of hit and run accidents in Los Angeles is astounding with 40,000 hit-and-run collisions occurring in the County every year and 8,000 injuries and/or deaths. Fortunately, Los Angeles decision makers have has acknowledged that a majority of the street accidents and a slew of recent pedestrian deaths resulted from hit-and-runs. In fact, last year, LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck declared that Los Angeles is suffering from a “Hit-and-Run Crisis.”
In a state with a record number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers, even though it is against the law to drive without a license and without auto insurance, more information about these unlawful activities has come to light. According to the Automobile Club of America, unlicensed drivers are 66 times more likely to be a hit-and-run driver than a licensed driver. Additionally, California DMV reports that unlicensed drivers are three times more likely to be involved in fatal collisions.
In Fall of 2013, California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will provide undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain driver’s licenses. Facts show that in Los Angeles, a driver’s uninsured or unlicensed status corresponds with the driver’s immigration status. The new law does not become effective until 2015 and federal law will still require that before undocumented workers can obtain a driver’s license, they produce a valid Social Security Card or a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Will this new law encourage undocumented drivers to stay at the scene of an auto accident in Los Angeles? Probably not, because if unlicensed driver were to stay, he would likely risk deportation. It seems that at least currently, this fear promotes a “nothing to lose” mentality wherein the consequences of fleeing are equal to or less than the consequences of being arrested for having no license and no documentation of citizenship.
Another common reason for fleeing the scene of an accident is alcohol-related. 58% of fatal hit and run crashes occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and 47% of fatal hit-and-run crashes occur between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Many of these accidents were caused by drunk or high drivers, many of whom may have had their license suspended for driving under the influence and do not want to get caught again.
If you or a loved one were injured in a hit and run accident in Los Angeles, there is legal help available. The aggressive trial lawyers at BIKLAW will fight on your behalf to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. Contact them today for more information.