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I was involved in a hit-and-run accident in San Jose. A witness managed to jot down the license plate. How do I make sure the culprit faces the consequences?


I was involved in a hit-and-run accident in San Jose. A witness managed to jot down the license plate. How do I make sure the culprit faces the consequences?

Last Tuesday, I was driving home from work around 6 PM when someone rear-ended my car near Willow Glen. They sped off without stopping, but thankfully, a pedestrian saw the whole thing and noted their license plate. I reported the incident to the San Jose police department right away, but I'm not sure what to do next. Do I need a specific kind of lawyer for this situation? How can I find a good one in San Jose and what's the typical cost for their services? Are there any specific laws or procedures I should be aware of regarding hit-and-run accidents in California?

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Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Automobile accident attorneys in the jurisdiction of San Jose. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Legal Foundations of Hit-and-Run Incidents

Understanding the Situation: Your distress and concern about this incident are fully justified. Hit-and-run incidents are serious offenses in California, and the perpetrator can face hefty fines and even jail time if found guilty. Seeking a legal expert, especially one familiar with auto accident regulations, will bolster your case and guide you through the complexities.

Relevant Laws:

  • California Vehicle Code Section 20001 deals with hit-and-run incidents resulting in injury or death.
  • California Vehicle Code Section 20002 pertains to hit-and-run incidents leading to property damage.

For a comprehensive understanding of these laws, you might want to consult the California DMV's official website.

Potential Solutions

Your first step should be to consult with a personal injury lawyer or an attorney specialized in auto accidents. They can help you navigate the legal landscape, file any necessary claims, and ensure that the responsible party is held accountable. If the culprit is identified, you can potentially claim damages for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and even emotional distress.

Finding the Right Attorney: There are numerous platforms available to compare lawyers in your area. Using platforms like Explore Lawyers, you can review lawyers based on their specialties, experience, and client reviews, ensuring you find the right lawyer for your situation.

Price Estimations for Legal Services in San Jose

Legal Costs Breakdown:

Service Average Cost
Initial Consultation $100 - $300
Legal Representation (Flat fee) $1,500 - $5,000
Legal Representation (Hourly) $200 - $600/hr
Court Filing Fees $50 - $500
Miscellaneous Costs $100 - $2,000

San Jose, being in the heart of Silicon Valley, has legal fees that are generally higher than other parts of the country. Always ensure that you discuss and understand all potential costs upfront with your lawyer. Some attorneys might offer a 'no win, no fee' model for certain types of cases.

Clarifications and Further Actions

Could you provide more details about the extent of the damages and any injuries you might have sustained? This will assist in estimating potential claims. Act swiftly, as California has statutes of limitations which may restrict the time frame within which you can file a claim.

Key Questions for You

  • Have you visited a doctor following the incident?
  • Did you take photographs of the damages to your vehicle?
  • Have you been contacted by any insurance companies since the incident?

Q1: What if the perpetrator cannot be located?

In case the driver responsible remains unidentified, you might need to rely on your own insurance coverage. Discuss this with a personal injury lawyer who can advise you on uninsured motorist coverage.

Q2: What if I didn't sustain any physical injuries?

Even if you didn’t sustain physical injuries, you might still claim for emotional distress, damage to your vehicle, and other related expenses.

Q3: Are there specific timelines I should be aware of?

Yes. California generally allows two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit and three years for property damage. However, always consult with a lawyer to understand specific timelines.

Q4: Can I claim damages if the accident was partially my fault?

California follows a comparative fault rule. Even if you were partially at fault, you can recover damages. However, the amount may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Q5: How long does a typical hit-and-run case take?

The duration varies based on the complexities involved, whether the perpetrator is identified, the amount of evidence available, and other factors. Generally, simpler cases can be resolved in a few months, while others might take years.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "I was involved in a hit-and-run accident in San Jose. A witness managed to jot down the license plate. How do I make sure the culprit faces the consequences?" has been changed 1 week ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of San Jose & area of law: Automobile accident attorneys.
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When should you seek a personal injury lawyer? Car accident attorney will be needed in the event of traffic accidents that lead to serious injuries or long-term medical treatment of those involved. Choosing an experienced attorney will help increase the chances that you get the compensation that you deserve. By hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you immediately after a car accident, you will have a professional working for you – one who is very knowledgeable about the specific field of law and procedural rules that may significantly affect your case.

An indicator of the skills of a particular injury lawyer is the fact how many lawsuits he/she has won as well as careful pre-court preparation and possibly also the process of negotiation with the counterparty. In the case of car accidents where there are problems related to limits for car insurance, lawyers may threaten to file a suit. However, in most cases, an out-of-court settlement can be reached between the parties. Why should you hire a car accident attorney? Underestimating such a decision may result in considerable financial loss, especially in the event that you or the other party (the participant of the accident) have inadequate insurance coverage and the insurance company thus does not pay the claim.

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