A hit-and-run is defined as “relating to a motor accident in which the vehicle involved does not stop.” This type of accident can be particularly scary to all parties involved, especially the person who has been hit. The act of leaving after such an incident is hard for many of us to comprehend, however hit-and-runs are escalating in their occurrence every year. Below is a list of frequently asked questions concerning hit-and-runs.
How often do hit-and-runs happen?
Hit-and-runs happen more often then you would think, however, not as often as a typical accident. Nearly 1,500 people die per year in hit-and-run accidents according to AAA. Of all accidents that were fatal, nearly 18% are from hit-and-run accidents. Additionally, of all pedestrian related accidents, hit-and-runs accounted for 20% of all injuries. If you want to know more statistics you can check out our Hit-and-Run Statistics page here.
What penalties does the perpetrator who left after the accident face?
The person who ran from the accident, if caught will typically have their license suspended if not cancelled or revoked for a lifetime. Additionally criminal charges may be filed, with chances of jail time being quite high. Many times insurance companies also revoke certain insurance policies due to the fact a “runner” from an accident is looked down upon in society. Different states have different policies, however, it is not unusual to see fines or infractions if a pedestrian is hit. In some states the fines raise if an animal was injured.
What resources are available to those who have been hit?
There are several support groups located throughout the Utah and Salt Lake valleys to help those or their loved ones who have been implicated in a hit-and-run accident. The Edison Fund is a virtual support group that is designed to help victims who have been in a hit-and-run accident and provides awareness in the community on accidents in general. The web also has some general tips to support those who have been hit with the psychological and even emotional and physical damages a hit-and-run accident can create. Most accident prevention organizations also have a chapter on hit-and-run awareness and support.
How can you prevent a hit-and-run accident?
The best way to prevent a hit-and-run accident is to be aware of your surroundings constantly, whether you are a driver or a pedestrian. Remember that as a driver, you can prevent the accident from being labeled as a hit-and-run accident if you stay on the scene of the accident and help the person you have hit. If you run from the accident you may face more serious charges or punishments.
When should you seek legal counsel?
You should seek legal counsel when the person or individual who has hit you has failed to properly pay for your injuries. You should seek legal counsel when the medical bills are piling up and you are out of work. You should seek legal counsel if your quality of life has diminished extensively. Filling a claim or seeking legal counsel is not always evil and does not have to be a vicious cycle. If you have been injured and you are wondering if you should seek legal counsel, call Christensen & Hymas today and schedule a free confidential consultation where they can help you decide your legal options in this trying time. Call (801) 506-0800.
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