According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a hit-and-run crash occurs every 43 seconds in the United States. Furthermore, research indicates increasing rates of hit-and-run crashes and related fatalities. Florida, New Mexico, and Louisiana currently have the highest hit-and-run fatality rates per capita.
Whatever the cause of a hit-and-run, these accidents lead to lasting financial, physical, and emotional damage to victims. If you were hit by a vehicle and the driver fled the scene, contact an experienced hit-and-run attorney at Get Car Accident Money today. We’ll fight to award you with the compensation you need.
Causes of Hit-and-Run Accidents
Experts may point to many causes for hit-and-run accidents, but too many come down to driver distraction. For example, a person texting and backing out of a driveway may not notice a pedestrian or bicyclist behind their vehicle. Other than technological distractions, the following are common causes of hit-and-run accidents:
- Drunk driving. Many at-fault drunk drivers decide to flee the scene of an accident to avoid being charged with a DUI. If a warrant is executed and the perpetrator is arrested, they are usually charged with DUI and hit-and-run and can face penalties for both offenses if convicted.
- Driving while uninsured. Each state imposes serious penalties for driving while uninsured, so plenty of uninsured drivers flee the scene of a car accident to avoid being charged. If you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver who fled the scene and you do not have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), the only way you can recover compensation is by suing through an experienced legal team.
- Driving with outstanding warrants, previous tickets, or other legal issues. Leaving the scene of an accident is common among drivers who want to continue evading the law.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents can tell you how painful and hurtful their experience was. Get Car Accident Money fights for these victims every day. You don’t have to deal with the consequences of a hit-and-run on your own; let Get Car Accident Money help you recover compensation for your injuries and suffering.
What to Do If You Are the Victim of a Hit-And-Run
Whether you were walking, bicycling, or driving, there are several initial steps you should take if you are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident. These steps will help you obtain the necessary information if you decide to press charges after the at-fault driver is found.
- Call the police. This is a vital first step; even if you have suffered minor injuries, make sure to alert the authorities. When the police arrive, provide them with any details you can remember, including the color, make, or license plate number of the vehicle that hit you. Even if you only remember a few digits, this can be helpful information in locating the perpetrator. Each state has a different window of time in which you can file a police report, so make sure you promptly alert the authorities.
- Take photos of the scene. Photographs of any damage to your vehicle, person, or property counts as valuable documentation that can help prove your case to your insurance provider or a judge.
- Obtain the contact information of any witnesses. Witnesses of a hit-and-run car accident are invaluable. They can provide details about the accident that you may have been too preoccupied or rattled to notice. Witnesses can include other drivers who were at the scene, patrons at a restaurant or business close by, or other pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Call your insurance company. As well as the police, you should notify your insurance agent that you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, especially if your vehicle was damaged.
Consequences of a Hit-and-Run
- Civil consequences. In a civil injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (victim of the accident) will most likely receive punitive damages. These become available when the defendant (at-fault driver) is proven to have caused harm as a result of their negligence or recklessness. Punitive damages compensate the victim for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Because every driver in the United States is expected to take responsibility for their actions while operating a motor vehicle, fleeing the scene is usually seen as an intentional act that justifies punitive damages.
- Criminal consequences. No matter the circumstance, every state requires that a driver stop their vehicle after an accident. Drivers who fail to do so and flee the scene will be subject to a range of criminal charges. These penalties include fines, driver’s license suspension or revocation, incarceration for up to a year if there was minimal property damage, or felony charges if a victim was injured or killed or there was significant property damage.
If you were injured or a family member was killed in a hit-and-run car accident, you don’t have to suffer alone. The search to find a runaway driver may seem futile, but our attorneys at Get Car Accident Money know how to fight and win these cases. We have helped thousands of individuals and families recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Call Get Car Accident Money today for a free case consultation.