A widely known and beloved San Francisco businessman, Constantin Vardakastanis, was killed late last month after a hit and run accident. The accident occurred around 2 a.m. at the intersection of Jerrold and Toland. According to his loved ones, he was on his way to the San Francisco Produce Market to look at the day’s fruits and vegetables when he was hit. According to police, the vehicle that hit him was a silver sedan which sustained some damage to the front end and the windshield in the accident.
Vardakastanis owned three neighborhood markets, one on Harrison, one on Noriega, and his flagship store in the Haight. He was known for hiring people from the local community and making contributions to the local community.
Hit and run car accidents in which the driver of a vehicle hits another driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian, are often some of the worst types of accidents as far as injuries to victims. The driver not only caused the damage and harm to the other person, but then left the victim on his or her own to seek medical help and to try to recover financially after the accident. The good news is that many San Francisco hit and run accidents can be compensable to the victim, if the victim is able to file a claim with his or her automobile insurance company. When these types of accidents occur, victims often need legal advice in order to recover financial compensation for their injuries, either from the hit and run driver if the driver is found, or from their own insurance company if the driver is not found.
Although leaving the scene of an accident that has caused injuries is illegal under California law, it happens frequently. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has estimated that over 10 percent of all car accidents involve hit and run drivers.
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to hit and run accidents. Not only are their injuries typically more serious than injuries to occupants of an automobile that crashes, they often need immediate medical attention. If the driver flees the scene and there are no bystanders, the victim of the accident may be left without any way to summon help.
Even if the driver is never found, victims of hit and run accidents, including pedestrians and bicyclists, can often pursue a case through their own automobile insurance company, if they have uninsured motorist coverage. If the driver is found but does not have sufficient insurance to compensate the injured accident victim, the accident victim may be able to make a claim against his or her insurance company in the form of an underinsured motorist claim.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist policies can pay for damages to the victim’s vehicle, as well as their own personal injuries, even if they are not in their vehicle at the time of the accident. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and even pain and suffering.
If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you pursue the best settlement from your insurance company. Insurance companies typically only want to pay the minimum, and will probably offer a quick settlement to resolve the case. A quick settlement can be tempting for injured accident victims, but nothing should be signed until an attorney has evaluated the case.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that hit and run drivers should be pursued and held responsible for their heinous, cowardly actions. If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident in the Oakland – San Francisco area, call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco hit and run car accident attorney at 510-645-1000 to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.