HIT & RUN CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS IN Bakersfield CALIFORNIA
Punitive Damages in a Bakersfield Hit-and-Run Accident
Although the recent ones mentioned below are among some of the worst to happen in our area, any Bakersfield hit-and-run accident is hard to stomach. This is because of the simple fact that a person willfully leaves the scene, not knowing whether or not the others who were involved are injured, or even if they are dead. This is why after these types of accidents many people feel that there should be punitive damages applied to their lawsuits. In California, these damages are normally only added when the defendant’s conduct was labeled as “reckless” (as in the commonly used phrase “reckless driving”), or if the guilty party has engaged in severe misconduct.
Take the hit-and-run accident in Bakersfield that occurred on Saturday, February 8th, 2020. At around 2:00 in the morning, 38-year-old Noe Diaz-Gonzalez was traveling east on Edison Highway with a passenger, when he suddenly made a hazardous left turn that caused him to strike the center median, then a chain link fence, and finally a pole. Diaz-Gonzales was injured, but not so much that he couldn’t walk. So, he jumped out of the vehicle and left the scene. The worst part about the crash was that he actually left his passenger, who was hurt and pinned inside of the vehicle.
Punitive damages are also sometimes referred to as “treble damages”, and in the above accident many would feel that Diaz-Gonzales (who was later caught, hospitalized, and arrested for felony DUI and hit-and-run) should receive them, being that his actions after the crash contributed even more harm to his victim, the passenger, who could have died at the scene after being abandoned by the uncaring driver. This, of course, would be for a California judge to decide, but there is always a chance of treble damages being added to his charges if the court sees fit.
The worst types of accidents (whether they are crashes that are followed by a hit-and-run driver or not) are ones that involve innocent children. This is exactly what occurred around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 in Southeast Bakersfield, where Evaristo Perez Nunez caused an accident at the intersection of East Pacheco and Cottonwood Road. Nunez unlawfully pulled out in front of the driver (who was traveling steadily southbound on Cottonwood) causing the vehicle to collide with him. He then fled the scene, leaving the other car, which contained four child passengers. One of the nine year olds sadly died later at the hospital. Nunez was found at his home later, and arrested for a right-of-way violation, driving without a license or insurance (which is probably why he fled the scene), possession of an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, as well as resisting arrest after he assaulted a cop while they were trying to handcuff him.
Far too often, pedestrians are also the victims of hit-and-run accidents. In November of 2019, Bakersfield.com reported that police were in search of two different vehicles that were the cause of two of these accidents. One involved 31-year-old Omar Jaurez Rentaria, who according to the report was hit by a “red or maroon 2006 to 2008 four-door Pontiac G6” as he was walking along the highway. This accident was in early November, and there was another one a few weeks before in mid-October, where 63-year-old Glen Lee Summers was struck by a Nissan Armada SUV while he was walking on Roberts Lane. He also died later from his injuries.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a Bakersfield hit and run accident, it is very important that you act quickly when it comes to attaining legal representation for your personal injuries. Call us at B&D Law Group, and we will see to it that you receive the compensation you deserve.