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Handling A Hit And Run: Understanding The Facts

Being involved in an auto accident can be a disheartening experience, and since the average driver will file an auto insurance claim once every 17.9 years, there’s a high likelihood that everyone will experience this feeling. Sadly, this incident can be made even worse if the accident involves a hit-and-run driver. This type of accident opens a whole new world to both drivers involved in the collision, and while some may see the act as a minor indiscretion, it’s a simple truth that the legal system doesn’t view it in quite the same way.

hit and run

License: Creative Commons click for image source.

There’s little doubt that hit-and-run accidents have become an epidemic in America. Back in 2011, the Washington Post released an article detailing how there had been a 20 percent increase in pedestrian-involved fatal hit-and-run accidents between 2000 and 2005. At this point, around 11 percent of all crashes in America were hit-and-run accidents.

In more recent years, though, data was released that showed fatal hit-and-run accidents in general were on the rise. In fact, from 2009 to 2011, the number of these accidents rose from 1,274 to 1,449. Obviously, this is a problem that is growing in magnitude.

Handling a Hit-and-Run Accident

The first thing that a person should remember if involved in a hit-and-run accident is to never follow the other driver. There could be a variety of reasons that the person is running, and many of these reasons can prove dangerous for the accident victim. It’s simply important to remember as much information as possible and to contact the police. Take note of as much as possible about the offending vehicle, its driver and the license plate if possible.

Police should be given all information, and if there was someone else in the vehicle or another witness to the accident, it’s essential that they talk to the police as well. In many instances, these people will not be as hyped up on adrenaline as the driver, so they’re more likely to remember specific facts.

Legal Repercussions

legal issues

Being involved in a hit and run accident can have serious legal ramifications. Photo courtesy of gnuckx. Creative Commons license

If a person chooses to flee the scene of an accident, there are various repercussions that they could face. Many wonder, however, why an individual would react in this way. Experts have listed everything from panic to a fear of consequences as potential reasons for fleeing, and they’ve even stated that a bad driving record causes some to flee. In some jurisdictions, a fleeing driver can actually have their license revoked permanently for this act.A

A Serious Crime, Things To Do To Avoid Legal Hassles

Additionally, hit-and-run is considered a very serious crime, and it can often lead to imprisonment even if there were no injuries in the accident. Those who are charged with fleeing an accident should immediately seek out an experienced attorney, such as a hit-and-run criminal defense attorney. This is because, though it may be hard to believe, there are defenses for hit-and-run charges. An attorney, for instance, can help argue the fact that their client was unaware of the accident or that they were involved in an ongoing emergency situation. Without legal representation, a person could literally end up with a felony conviction in some cases.

There’s no doubt that being involved in an accident is an emotional and stressful event, and sadly, some people simply don’t know how to react to this stress. This is often what leads to hit-and-run accidents. Luckily, the majority of these incidents don’t result in fatal injuries, but fleeing the scene of a wreck is still considered a serious crime. Because of this, it’s imperative to always stop after being involved in a collision; this can save huge legal hassles later on.

Top Ten Best Driving Cities

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RankCity, StateCompare to United States AverageAverage Years Between Collisions
1Kansas City, KS-24.8%13.3
2Brownsville, TX-24.613.3
3Boise, ID-23.5 13.1
4Fort Collins, CO-21.112.7
5Cape Coral, FL-21.0 12.7
6Madison, WI-18.212.2
7Cedar Rapids, IA-15.1 11.8
8Laredo, TX -14.711.7
9Huntsville, AL-14.711.7
10Cary, NC-13.811.6

Top Ten Worst Driving Cities

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RankCity, StateCompare to United States AverageAverage Years Between Collisions
1Boston, MA157.7%3.9
2Worster, MA120.74.5
3Baltimore, MD113.94.7
4Washington, DC106.34.8
5Springfield, MA93.15.2
6Providence, RI87.45.3
7Glendale, CA79.45.6
8San Francisco, CA65.0 6.1
9Philadelphia, PA64.46.1
10Los Angeles, CA63.3 6.1

Chart Credit to www.iii.org

Additional Information all Drivers Should Know About a Hit and Run

Click on any link for more information

1Victims Might Foot the Bill
2UM Insurance Coverage Helps Dramatically
3Insurance May Not Be Enough
4Hit and Run Accident Claims Have a Time Limit
5Collecting Evidence is Crucial
Lisa Coleman

Lisa Coleman

Blogger and legal writer Lisa Coleman shares statics and her knowledge of the legal repercussions that can accompany a hit-and-run accident. She researched online on the website of Katz & Phillips, P.A. a FL criminal defense attorney firm, for some of the information presented within this piece.

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