There has been an increasing number of hit-and-run
accidents in recent years, according to one study presented by
USA Today. Lawmakers are brainstorming on a variety of ways to make the laws tougher
on hit-and-run offenders, with steeper penalties and extended incarceration
times, to name a few.
Here are some examples of changes occurring across the nation:
- A Florida bill will charge hit-and-run offenders with up to 3 years in prison
- Arizona law will suspend licenses of offenders for 5 years; 10 years if
there is a death
Texas declared hit-and-run a 2
nd degree felony, with up to 20 years in prison
- In Colorado, a hit-and-run with serious bodily injury will be a Class 4 felony
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
the percentage of hit-and-run incidents has increased about 13.7% between
2009, from 1, 275 deaths to 1, 449 in 2011. Further research from the
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that one in five pedestrian deaths
were attributed to hit-and-run accidents.
What causes these accidents?
Driver negligence caused by excessive alcoholic consumption is one of the
largest factors. It is widely known that alcohol can have very negative
effects on the body, including a slower, more delayed reaction time, blurry
vision, poor focus and concentration, and lack of coordination, among
many other effects. Drivers, especially younger or more inexperienced,
are afraid of the possible penalties associated with DUI.
Another reason? The driver does not have insurance. Getting caught strikes
fear in many drivers who do not carry insurance or do not have their driver’s
license on them. The unfortunate reality is that the penalties for being
charged with a hit-and-run are much heavier than simply being cited without
having a license or insurance. Even then, there are close to 30 million
drivers on the road at this moment who do not carry insurance.
What should I do if I was the victim of hit-and-run?
If you were seriously injured, or someone you know was killed in a hit-and-run
crash, do not waste a second notifying the police about the incident.
Be sure to obtain medical attention for you or any passengers. One way
you can help identify police of the offender is to gather witnesses who
may be able to provide a first-hand account of the incident and may be
able to describe the driver.
Our Virginia accident lawyer can advocate for you during the litigation
process, and help you make your claim with your insurance company. This
may be necessary in case the offender cannot be found to make claim with
their insurance company, or if they do not carry insurance.
The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC has been helping many who were injured at the
hands of others for over 30 years. We work hard to argue for your claim,
to get you the best compensation possible, and ensure that you receive
a fair resolution.
For legal representation you can trust,
contact our firm for a free consultation.