No excuse for fleeing drivers
Across Chicago and the nation, law enforcement officers and other legal professionals witness the rate of hit-and-runs as it continues to climb every year. The best car accident lawyer teams are increasingly faced with many pedestrian injury cases involving a driver who fled the scene. While these matters are complex and drivers make the choice to flee based on many factors and causes, the law in all 50 states is clear: no amount of justification can rectify leaving another person to die in the road.
Hit-and-run rates on the rise
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hit-and-run accidents have seen a 13.7 percent increase since 2009. The most sobering part is that these increases came at a time when the overall traffic fatality rate decreased 4.5 percent. The American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety further analyzed the relevant data and found that these accidents make up 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Moreover, 60 percent of hit-and-run fatalities victimize pedestrians.
Tragic stories of loss
Fox 2 Now reports that a 16-year-old Granite City, IL boy and two of his friends were recently walking to a friend’s house when the group was struck by a car. The boy was thrown 30 feet and died on the way to the hospital while one of his friends suffered a bruised spleen and broken leg. The driver never stopped his car or offered the injured pedestrians any kind of aid. Law enforcement officials believe they have found the driver, however, and have taken the 26-year-old man into custody. Officers state that had the driver stopped and rendered aid, he would not be facing charges now because it appeared it really was an accident.
Many cities are seeing a sharper increase in hit-and-run accidents than the rest of the country. According to USA Today, Los Angeles is facing an epidemic where nearly half of all collisions within city limits involve a driver who then flees the scene of the accident. The national average is 11 percent. LA Weekly estimates that 20,000 hit-and-runs occur there every year, with 4,000 ending in death or injury. Those who have been drinking, who don’t have a valid license, and the very young are the most likely to flee when they realize what has happened.
Many states are toughening laws in an effort to keep the numbers from getting any higher. They include tougher sentences and closing previous loopholes that encouraged drivers to flee in some situations.
Those who have been injured during a hit-and-run accident can find relief from their financial and emotional injuries by contacting a Chicago personal injury attorney. Attorneys can help guide patients through the claims process and get them the compensation that they need in order to heal and move forward with their lives.