For people in Virginia and across the country, there are always risks when heading out on the road or simply leaving one’s home. One of the last things that anyone expects to happen is to be in a car accident. To make matters worse when there is a crash is if there is a hit and run. Unfortunately, the number of hit and run accidents that are occurring is rising and many of these are ending in fatalities.
The number of hit and run accidents is growing to be such a concern that lawmakers are seeking ways to put a stop to it. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that the concern is backed up by the numbers. From 2009 to 2011, the number of hit and run fatalities rose by 175 from 1,274 to 1,449. Even more concerning is the data that shows the number of overall traffic deaths is decreasing simultaneously to the number of hit and run accidents increasing.
Approximately 20 percent of fatalities involving a pedestrian end up being a hit and run. Sixty percent of the accidents overall involve a pedestrian. Alcohol is found to be a major contributor to these accidents. Los Angeles has been a case study in this problem as 20,000 occur in any given year with up to 4,000 ending with injuries or fatalities. States are increasing the penalties for hitting and running as well as encouraging those who are involved in a crash to stop and render aid with additional penalties added to the charges if they don’t. Given the aftereffects and seriousness with which these accidents are taken, law enforcement will conduct a thorough accident investigation to find the individual responsible in a hit and run.
In many circumstances, the hit and run crash happens while a crime is being committed, making matters worse for the perpetrator. The long-term damage that can affect a person and the person’s family if there is a hit and run with injuries or a fatality is extensive. There can be medical costs and those left behind won’t know how to make ends meet. Seeking compensation through litigation is often the only recourse they have.
Source: USA Today, “Fatal hit-and-run crashes on rise in U.S.,” Larry Copeland, accessed on Sept. 16, 2014