Hit-and-Run Automobile Accidents
May 3, 2019
According to information from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit-and-run car accident occurs every minute on roadways across the country. In 2016, these collisions resulted in 2,049 deaths –the highest number on record since 2009. On average, more than 680,000 hit-and-run crashes happen every year. Over the last ten years, a concerning trend has appeared: the number of hit-and-run fatalities has increased by more than 7% annually.
What is a Hit-and-Run?
When an accident happens, drivers are required to identify themselves and provide contact information to the parties involved. A hit-and-run accident is when a driver purposefully leaves the scene and fails to provide contact information after being in a collision with a human being, another vehicle, or property. Regardless of how scary it is to get into an accident, when someone leaves the scene it is not only immoral, but it is also illegal. People who flee the scene face significantly increased penalties, like fines, license suspension, or jail time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that for every 100 accidents, 11 of them are hit-and-runs – and that more than 4% of them are deadly. More than 125,000 men, women, and children are injured in hit-and-run accidents every year – but certain people are more at-risk for losing their lives in this type of incident than others are. In the last ten years, almost 20% of all pedestrian deaths were the result of hit-and-run automobile accidents. Bicyclists also face significantly higher risks for becoming hit-and-run victims on U.S. roads.
Hit-and-runs result in thousands of permanent and catastrophic injuries. Although it may be impossible to prevent each and every hit-and-run from happening, there are several steps that drivers can take to limit them. According to the AAA, drivers should:
- Stay vigilant when it comes to yielding to pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents frequently occur in areas outside of crosswalks, so it is critical to stay alert everywhere.
- Be patient, and give bicyclists and pedestrians plenty of room.
- Exercise caution and keep a watchful eye out for children, who are more difficult to see. Be especially cautious in school zones and at bus stops, intersections, and near playgrounds, and:
- Be aware and remember that pedestrians and bicyclists may enter a driver’s path of travel without any warning. Since the unexpected can always happen, it is better to be safe than sorry. Obey traffic laws, avoid speeding, and pledge to not drive while distracted.
What Should You Do After a Hit-and-Run?
When a hit-and-run accident happens, it is especially helpful to consult with a lawyer. Because the responsible party fled the scene, proving fault is often a difficult and complicated process. Depending on the nature of the accident – like whether the injured party is a bicyclist, pedestrian, or another driver – there are different ways to proceed in filing a claim that can help provide peace of mind in covering medical expenses and time lost from work.
At Galfand Berger, our hit-and-run automobile accident attorneys can answer your questions about how to file a claim. If you would like to learn more, please contact a representative at our firm directly.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Hit-and-Run Victims
If you were injured in a hit-and-run crash, please contact our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.