Bill would use Amber Alert system to find hit-and-run drivers

Proposal comes after steep rise in hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles

A state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would use California's Amber Alert system to catch hit-and-run drivers, according to the Los Angeles Times. The proposal, based on a similar system in place in Colorado, would display information about fleeing vehicles on highway displays, thus allowing the public to keep an eye out for drivers involved in a hit-and-run accident. The proposal comes just as a recent report shows that hit-and-run accidents have risen dramatically in recent years in the Los Angeles area. Actual case studies conducted at Neustadt and Berriz suggests that many hit and run collision occur because the at-fault motorist is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not properly licensed or insured, or simply scared their insurance rates will increase after a collision. While the first of these, DUI, is the most egregious, any instance of hit and run should be investigated thoroughly and punished. Attorney Armando J. Berriz and John R. Neustadt have worked with local police to investigate and bring to civil and criminal justice these criminals, making sure their clients receive just compensation.

Hit-and-run alert system

Using the Amber Alert system to catch hit-and-run drivers has been proposed before, but previous efforts have been vetoed over concerns that it would overwhelm the Amber Alert system. Advocates for the latest bill, however, note that the proposed changes would not go into effect until 2016, giving officials plenty of time to study whether the current system can handle hit-and-run alerts.

Furthermore, advocates point to a similar system already in place in Colorado. In that state, police were able to make an arrest in 76 percent of the cases in which an alert was issued. In comparison, the Los Angeles Police Department typically only solves one-in-five hit-and-run accidents.

Bicyclist accidents rising

The proposed legislation comes partially in response to a recent report that found hit-and-run accidents involving bicycles had risen 42 percent over a ten-year period between 2002 and 2012 in the Los Angeles area. The rise comes despite all other hit-and-run accident rates declining during the same time period.

According to KHON 2 News, during the period studied 5,600 cyclists were injured and 36 killed in hit-and-run collisions. Police say that unless they have at least a partial license plate number or a description of the vehicle or driver then it can be extremely difficult to catch a hit-and-run driver. Even when a hit-and-run case is resolved, less than half of them actually result in charges being laid against the driver.

Legal representation at Neustadt and Berriz, APC.

Drivers who flee the scene of an accident not only commit a crime, they also leave the other driver or victim having to deal with the consequences of the damage themselves. If a hit-and-run accident results in injuries, then victims will often be faced with high medical bills and lost income. Through the use of surveillance footage and cooperation with local police agencies, Armando J. Berriz and John R. Neustadt have successfully tracked down hit and run motorists and have made them and their insurance carriers pay just compensation. In fact, Neustadt and Berriz have filed lawsuits against the hit and run motorist and have sought punitive damages as well which are imposed to punish and deter the illegal and malicious conduct carried out in conscious disregard for the safety of other motorists.

While it can seem almost impossible to recover compensation after being struck by a hit-and-run driver, options are available. Anybody who has been the victim of a driver who has fled the scene of an accident should contact Neustadt and Berriz, expert personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. Neustadt and Berriz will let accident victims know about what options may be available, including any claims that can be made for compensation necessary to cover the costly expenses associated with an accident.