Attorneys at Freeman & Freeman, LLP Represent Victims of Hit-and-Run Crimes and See the Suge Knight Case as a Public Reminder of the Hit-and-Run Problem in Los Angeles

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Most hit-and-run crashes go unsolved in Los Angeles, but, in rare instances, a driver who leaves the scene will later turn themselves in to the police. While this eliminates much of the legal complexity of such cases, most hit-and-run drivers are never found, leading to extremely complex legal issues for victims, the attorneys of Freeman & Freeman say.

We hope the Suge Knight case increases public attention on the hit-and-run problem in LA

The recent case involving famous music producer Marion "Suge" Knight has brought the subject of hit-and-run crashes into the international spotlight. According to court documents and innumerable media reports, Knight is accused of running over two men with his pick-up truck in February, 2015. This CNN report from March 10, 2015, "Video of Suge Knight's fatal hit-and-run released," describes the incident.

"This recent incident involving such a high profile figure has several unique characteristics but hit-and-run is a crime regardless of the situation," Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Stan Freeman says."If property damage, injury or a fatality occurred, serious consequences may await the driver including jail time. We have represented many clients who have been struck by hit-and-run drivers and, often, we must force insurance companies to offer fair compensation. In these cases, the victim's own insurance company can become adversarial."

Steven Freeman, also of Freeman & Freeman, says "when a driver leaves the scene of an accident, the victim's own insurance should kick in and the claim should be covered. But insurance companies often want the responsible party's insurance company to pay. They are not anxious to pay out of their own coffers when a crash was not their client's fault. But they are supposed to. We often have to fight for these victims to get the settlement they need."

Stan Freeman says the Suge Knight case is unique but it is a reminder of how bad the hit-and-run problem is in Los Angeles: "the Knight case is rare but it does shine a light on a very bad problem in L.A. Pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists are injured on a regular basis in the city as the result of hit-and-run crashes."

Data supports the attorney's statement. In a recent Los Angeles Times story, "For families of hit-and-run victims, haunting questions remain" by Sandy Banks, published on March 9, 2015, Banks writes, "There are about 20,000 hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles each year, most of them fender-benders. But 144 people were severely injured and 27 people killed last year by drivers who did not stop. Over the years, only about 1 in 10 hit-and-run drivers has been arrested or prosecuted."

"These cases are extremely tragic because the injuries can be so serious," Steven Freeman says, "but the victim is also left with so many unanswered questions. We are prepared to represent such victims and pursue maximum compensation on their behalf but the victim is often suffering with pain, lost employment opportunities and other issues because the driver who caused the crash did not stop. This kind of complex litigation can just add to the victim's challenges. We hope the Suge Knight case increases public attention on the hit-and-run problem in LA."

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Brett Watson
since: 10/2011
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Freeman & Freeman, LLP
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