Los Angeles offers rewards for help catching hit-and-run drivers

Los Angeles City Council has approved a program that will automatically reward witnesses who help catch hit-and-run drivers.

Percentage of hit-and-run incidents in city is well above national average

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a program to offer automatic monetary rewards to witnesses who provide information that helps catch and convict hit-and-run drivers, according to KTLA News. The measure, which improves upon an already existing program, is designed to encourage people to come forward in hit-and-run cases. The council passed the automatic reward program as a response to the disturbingly high percentage of vehicle crashes in the city involving drivers who flee the scene. Councilors also recently approved an alert system that will also assist in catching hit-and-run drivers.

Reward for information

Los Angeles already offered rewards to witnesses who provided information about hit-and-run drivers, but such rewards were decided on a case-by-case basis. Under the automatic system, witnesses who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a hit-and-run driver will automatically receive a monetary reward.

The amount rewarded depends on the severity of the accident. The largest possible reward, $50,000, is reserved for fatal accidents. Information leading to a conviction in cases involving a permanent injury would entail a $25,000 reward. For other injuries, the reward is $5,000, while for property damage alone the reward is $1,000.

Half of accidents are hit-and-runs

The automatic rewards are in response to some troubling statistics surrounding hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles. In 2014, 27 people were killed and a further 144 seriously injured in hit-and-run crashes in the city. While nationally about 11 percent of vehicle accidents involve a motorist who flees the scene, in Los Angeles almost half of all car accidents involve a hit-and-run driver, according to the Contra Costa Times. Additionally, the city usually sees about 20,000 overall hit-and-run accidents each year.

Los Angeles City Council also recently approved another hit-and-run program that functions similarly to the Amber Alert system. The program will send out alerts to the public after a hit-and-run occurs in order to help apprehend fleeing drivers faster. A statewide proposal for a similar system had been proposed but was ultimately rejected by state lawmakers.

Accident victims

Victims of hit-and-run drivers can often feel helpless and angry and not know where to turn to. Fortunately, a personal injury attorney can help those who have been injured by a driver who not only may have caused a crash, but made the situation much worse by fleeing the scene. The right attorney can inform victims about what legal recourse they may have, including potential compensation that can help cover damages, medical costs, and other expenses that often arise following a serious accident.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury