In major cities across the U.S., hit-and-run crashes are on the rise, and fatalities resulting from these crashes are also increasing. According to crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was an upward trend of fatal hit-and-runs between 2009 and 2011.
A hit-and-run occurs when the at-fault driver hits you and then leaves the scene of the accident without giving you insurance or ID information—and even before you have a chance to identify the vehicle. You could be the victim of a hit-and-run accident if you are:
- A pedestrian. When drivers travel onto a sidewalk, it’s possible that they’ll hit a pedestrian. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that one-fifth of all pedestrian fatalities in 2013 were caused by a hit-and-run crash.
- A cyclist. Some drivers do not pay attention to bike lanes or share the road with cyclists. If you ride a bike, you risk crashing with a vehicle, and this could be a hit-and-run crash, as well.
- A motorist. If you drive a car, truck, or motorcycle, another driver could hit you and speed away from the scene of the crash.
Why Drivers Leave the Scene of the Accident
When people cause a crash, they may have strong motivations for leaving the scene. Many at-fault hit-and-run drivers leave for these reasons:
- Insurance. If an at-fault driver panics that his insurance premiums might increase due to the accident, he might feel compelled to leave the scene.
- Prior traffic offenses. When a driver causes an accident, it’s possible he’s caused others. If he’s already in trouble with law enforcement over other serious traffic infractions, he might leave to avoid yet another ticket or traffic charge.
- Impaired or distracted driving. Hit-and-run drivers may leave the scene of an accident to avoid being arrested for drunk, drugged, or distracted driving. The prospect of jail time and heavy fines motivates many drivers to flee the scene.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you might be confused and worried about your next steps. Hiring a lawyer to handle your case can be an important decision. The right lawyer can help you build your case, collect evidence, and advocate for you in court. Contact the experienced lawyers at Tavss Fletcher to get started on your case.