What is a hit-and-run accident?
A hit-and-run accident is a car crash where one of the drivers involved in the accident leaves the scene without calling the police, waiting for police to arrive, or exchanging information with the other drivers. While it may seem reprehensible to leave the scene of an accident—especially one resulting in serious injuries—hit-and-run accidents are much more common than most people realize. In fact, according to the most recently available data, there are believed to be about 737,000 hit-and-run accidents across the United States each year. This means that there is a hit-and-run accident every 43 seconds.
Most hit-and-run accident victims are pedestrians, with an average of one in five pedestrian deaths resulting from a hit-and-run accident. However, hit-and-run accidents make up about 11 percent of all motor vehicle accidents.
Hit-and-run accidents pose several problems from the perspective of the accident victim and society as a whole. The most obvious concern about hit-and-run accidents is that an accident victim’s injuries can end up being much worse due to the delay in receiving medical treatment. When a driver leaves the scene of an accident, they may have been the only other person aware of the crash. Thus, if the accident victim is unconscious, immobile or otherwise unable to summon the police, they are left languishing on the side of the road until someone happens to find them. In many cases, an accident victim’s injuries could have been treated much more effectively had the hit-and-run driver called the police and reported the accident.
It is important to note that hit-and-run accident victims have options for recovering compensation after an accident. By contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer, an accident victim can file a claim with their own insurance company or, if the driver is later located, with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.