In a study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, researchers found that nearly hit and run accidents are the cause of 1,500 fatalities each year in the United States. These accidents cause many deaths each year along with added distress to drivers involved in the accident.
Qualities of hit and run accidents
In order for an accident to qualify as a hit and run collision, it must adhere to a certain set of qualities. The state of Missouri outlines that hit and run accidents involve the driver that caused the accident failing to leave their:
- Residence (which includes the city they live in and street number)
- Vehicle Identification information
- Number on their driver’s license
This information should either be left with the law enforcement authority or the other individual injured in the accident in order for the accident to not be considered a hit and run.
For example, a man recently injured his co-worker in a hit and run crash and then fled from the site of the accident, according to a Citizen’s Voice report. The two men were fighting and eventually ended up later that evening at a fast food establishment. The man injured in the hit and run accident was reportedly thrown out of the vehicle and then ran over by the other man driving a truck.
Hit and run accidents have amplified legal consequences as compared to motor vehicle accidents where both individuals involved stay at the scene. The man that ran over his co-worker will be charged for fleeing the area where the accident occurred as well as for aggravated assault.
Insurance and accidents
Although the individual that caused the accident is often found, one of the consequences of hit and run accidents is that there is no information about the other driver to compensate for medical bills and vehicle damage. However, insurance policies with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will often cover financial losses incurred by an accident with a hit and run driver.
After a hit and run accident occurs, the injured driver should do several things. First, they should file a police report as soon as possible and provide authorities with information that may help them find the driver that caused the accident. Secondly, individuals in a hit and run accident should then get in touch with their insurance company and speak directly with their personal agent.
The final step individuals involved in a hit and run accident should take is to consult with a motor vehicle accident lawyer. An experienced attorney may help you recover financial losses incurred by the accident and help you determine your rights after this type of accident occurs.