Assemblyman Targets California Hit-and-Run Drivers

March 17, 2013,

Irresponsible drivers could soon face stricter punishments. That's if Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) gets his way. He's aiming to get drivers who are convicted of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence to face up to five more years behind bars, according to the Daily Pilot.
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Our Costa Mesa car accident lawyers understand that this bill, Assembly Bill 956, was first introduced back in late February. It aims to fix what many refer to as a "legal loophole." Under this legal loophole, drivers are almost encouraged to flee the scene of an accident, says Saulo Londono, Mansoor's spokesman. If drivers flee, it's much more difficult to prove gross negligence.

"I also believe in giving judges additional tools for sentencing those who run," said Mansoor.

As it stands now, drivers who are convicted of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence can face up to 6 years behind bars. What this means is that a driver acted in a way that displayed egregious disregard for the well-being and safety of others.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one out of every 10 traffic accidents that are reported to officers is a hit-and-run collision.

These accidents might be a little more common in Los Angeles. According to an article posted last year from The Atlantic Wire, close to half of all L.A. traffic accidents are hit and runs. The state of California stands at an average of 20 percent of accidents resulting from hit and runs -- still much higher than the national average.

While no driver can fully prepare for an accident, knowing what to do in a hit-and-run collision will help the accident victim better understand his rights.

-Stay calm. Take a breath, compose yourself and plan your route of action.

-Check for injuries. If there are any, contact emergency responders.

-If it's a minor accident, move out of the way of moving traffic and get to a safe place.

-Make sure you put your hazard lights on. Use cones, flares or warning triangles if you have them.

-Call police officers to file a report -- even if the accident is minor.

-Contact an attorney to help you with your next step of action.

If you're involved in an accident, it's important that you get as much information as you can, as quickly as you can. You want to take note of the kind of vehicles involved, a description of the driver and their license plate number. You want to also take note of the scene of the accident. Where are the cars? How did the accident happen? Are there any obstructions or obstacles that may have contributed to the accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.

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