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California woman suffers fatal injury in San Diego hit-and-run: is it a felony?

California – September 24, 2022

The 5000 block of El Cajon Boulevard was the scene of an accident where a woman in her 50s was struck and killed by a hit and run driver in San Diego. After the vehicle fled the scene without stopping and leaving the injured pedestrian lying in the street, she was hit by a gold Toyota Camry according to law enforcement personnel.  She sustained fatal injuries in the crash and died at the scene. When hit-and-run can be proven, there may be a case for negligence supported by California DUI, speeding, cell phone and distracted driving laws. Under California code section 20001, a hit-and-run is a misdemeanor in the absence of injury or death. Talk to an accident lawyer who can explain when a hit-and-run becomes a felony charge if the driver was drunk at the time, under the influence, acted negligently, or if the accident results in death.

Hit-and-run cases.

  • May be settled out of court.
  • May involve prosecutors pursuing other charges
  • May become a felony if victims die or suffer serious injury
  • Failure to stop at an accident scene can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the outcome of the accident victim.

Distracted driving.

Driver distractions include eating, grooming, tending to small children, reaching for objects, tampering with automobile touchscreens, and any other task that involves a reduction of attention to the act of safe driving. California has had distracted driving laws in place for over ten years now and those laws support damage claims when a driver’s use of a cell phone plays a major role in a vehicle accident.  The 2016 Assembly Bill 1785  was meant to discourage drivers from holding an electronic device while operating a vehicle.

Car Insurance and liability.

California law requires that drivers have a way to cover costs related to damages or injuries caused in a car accident. Purchasing liability car insurance is the simplest and most common way people choose to meet this requirement. In California everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury or wrongful death occurrence during the course of ordinary care. This means that if a driver is responsible for any part of activities that led to injury, the compensation will be adjusted in accordance with a percentage of fault assigned to each driver.

Hire a lawyer.

Seek counsel at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates immediately after a fatal accident, where a driver was ignoring the California hit and run laws for guidance on how to navigate through the tragic period.  Lawyers can proceed in filing wrongful death actions (within the two-year period from the date a person died) that will enable compensation to pay bills related to funerals, emergent hospital care and negative financial impacts to family members.

Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-233-8021
Fax: 619-233-3730

Sources.

  1. https://www.cbs8.com/article/news/local/pedestrian-killed-in-a-hit-and-run-in-san-diego/509-cceedd9b-c69f-4b38-8f89-6e2a0f57e93e
  2. Law section (ca.gov)
  3. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1785