Hit And Run Accidents Are All Too Common
When you are a pedestrian hit by a car, the initial assumption is that you can and should sue the driver of the car that hit you. That’s generally true—assuming you know who actually hit you. Because in a lot of accidents, the drivers flee the scene of the accident, making the accident a hit and run.
What is a Hit and Run Accident?
Hit and run accidents come in many forms. Certainly, there is the traditional kind where someone hits you, and then drives away. But in some cases, the other driver may actually stop, may even interact or speak with you, until opting to drive away before police can arrive on scene.
Hit and runs also don’t only involve pedestrians; anytime a driver hits your car, a motorcycle, a bicycle, or a pedestrian and then drives off, it is considered a hit and run. Many people aren’t aware that leaving the scene of an accident where there is an injury involved is a crime—even if the driver who fled didn’t actually cause the accident. In some states, leaving the scene of an accident early can result in jail time.
How Common are Hit and Run Accidents?
The American Automobile Association (AAA) analyzed hit and run accidents and found that on average, a hit and run happens about every 43 seconds, and that they constitute about 12% of all car accidents. Sadly, hit and run accidents increased every year in the study by about a 7% yearly margin.
Among all the states with the highest hit and run accidents, Florida was in the top 3, along with New Mexico and Louisiana.
Hit and runs actually were more common at lower speeds, which makes some sense, as it is harder to flee the scene of an accident when the accident happens in the middle of a higher speed highway, and higher speed accidents are more likely to disable the cars involved in the accidents. According to the study, hit and run accidents usually happened on curved roads, overpasses, or roads that had lower speed limits.
Using Your Own Insurance
One initial problem with a hit and run is that there may be nobody to sue—the other driver ran off, before giving his or her information to you or police. However, you still may be able to recover from a hit and run accident, if you have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance.
Until and unless the other driver is found, your UM coverage will “act like” the other driver, and pay you the damages that the other driver would have been liable to pay you. That means that your own UM insurance will actively defend the case the way the other driver would have, had he or she been found.
Contact Barbas Nunez Sanders Butler & today if you have been injured in any kind of hit and run accident. Reach out to our Tampa personal injury lawyers for a consultation on your case.