Hit and run accidents are common here in California, especially in Los Angeles. The first thing I’ll advise you to do is to recall everything that you can about the driver and his car. Try remembering the plate number, the model and make of the car, physical characteristics of the person behind the wheel, etc. If there are witnesses around, go talk to them and gather additional information that can help the police find the hit and run driver.

When you feel that you’ve exhausted all sources of information including your own, file a police report. Include the contact information of witnesses and business establishments near the place of the incident.

Doing all that may sound a lot for someone who’s just been through a hit and run, but doing your bit of detective work can go a long way in catching the driver. It can also help you with your insurance claim if you are covered for incidents where the at-fault driver is missing or incapable of paying up, like in a hit and run.

Also, take comfort in the fact that here in California, hit and run drivers face grave punishment from the law. Depending on the situation, a hit and run can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor hit and runs can get a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to 12 months, while a fleeing driver charged with a felony can be imprisoned for up to 4 years, especially in cases where the accident resulted in the death of a person.

Having legal advice in this kind of situation is recommended. An experienced lawyer can help you with claiming insurance and filing reports with the police and DMV.

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