A hit and run is a traffic offense that occurs when a driver is involved in a vehicle accident, and chooses to illegally flee the scene. Unfortunately, the frequency of hit and run accidents has increased in recent years:
- There were 1,460 hit and run accidents reported in 2013.
- In 2014, reported hit and runs rose to 1,920.
- Hit and run drivers are responsible for twenty percent of pedestrian deaths.
- Approximately eleven percent of all vehicle accidents are hit and runs.
Consequences of Hit and Run Accidents
Drivers who cause a hit and run accident and flee the scene in a panic often face severe consequences. In every state, a hit and run can result in criminal charges. Penalties may include suspension or revocation of driver’s licenses, fines, and incarceration.
Hit and run drivers may also have to pay civil penalties. These might include the victim’s compensatory damages (compensation for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident), as well as consequential damages (lost wages), and possibly punitive damages.
Identifying the Hit and Run Driver
If you have the driver’s license plate number, it may be possible to trace the owner of the car through the department of motor vehicles. You can also ask business owners to check their security camera footage, since it’s always possible that a camera in a business parking lot caught a glimpse of the car and driver.
Eyewitness identification of a hit and run driver can be powerful evidence, but witnesses are often quick to leave the accident scene because:
- They fear the police or have warrants out for their arrest.
- They are in a hurry and don’t have time to stop and help.
- Sadly, some people simply don’t care enough to stop. Since they don’t know you, they feel no obligation to help.
If you identify the hit and run driver, he can be forced to compensate you for the injuries you’ve sustained. If you fail to locate the driver, you may be able to rely on your own car insurance to cover your medical bills. Uninsured motorist insurance can cover your medical expenses resulting from vehicle accidents caused by hit and run drivers.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
If you’re the victim of a hit and run accident, you should first seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, and then consult a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney. To protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.