…the staggering number of hit-and-run cases in the state of Indiana in 2019, according to the most current data from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. This is an increase over the last decade and a cause for concern for drivers and pedestrians alike. Who knows what next year’s data will show? Who knows how many more innocent lives will be lost due to the negligent acts of others? Who knows the best recourse to take in deadly scenarios such as these. Who knows?
Answer: Crossen Law Firm
At Crossen Law Firm, we specialize in personal injury, including injuries or loss of life due to a hit-and-run car accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a hit-and-run accident and is seeking the best next steps, look no further than Crossen Law Firm. We have the aptitude and resources to help.
Read on to learn more about what hit-and-run accidents are, the reasons they occur, and how to get the compensation you deserve.
What Are Hit-&-Run Accidents?
According to Indiana Code 9-26, if you are involved in a car accident that causes injury or death to the other driver, you are required by law to do the following:
- Safely stop the car as close to the accident as possible
- Call 911 or the local police department for help
- Offer assistance to the other driver, as directed by the 911 operator or police officer
Failure to comply with the above protocol, by intentionally leaving the scene of the accident, qualifies the driver as being involved in a hit-and-run accident.
The penalties for acting in such a careless manner are as steep as they are severe. In the state of Indiana, if you are responsible for a hit-and-run car accident, you could be charged with:
- Class A Misdemeanor: up to one year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines if the accident results in injury to the other driver.
- Level 6 Felony: up to 2.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if the accident causes serious injury to the other driver or if the driver has already been involved (within the last five years) in an accident causing death.
- Level 5 Felony: up to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if the accident results in the death of another person.
- Level 3 Felony: up to 16 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if the driver hits and runs while intoxicated, causing serious injury or death to the other driver.
A hit-and-run car accident is a serious situation that warrants serious investigation and punishment to the responsible driver. Considering such consequences, why do drivers flee the scene of an accident?
What Are the Reasons for Hit-&-Run Accidents?
While driving away from a car accident is never excusable, there are underlying reasons for why people find themselves tempted to do so.
These reasons include:
- The responsible driver has a warrant out for his/her arrest or has legal trouble.
- The responsible driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The responsible driver does not have a driver’s license or car insurance.
- The responsible driver is panicked or confused.
It is the ugly side of human nature that makes us act so selfishly and it happens all the time. Just last week, an Indianapolis motorcyclist was hit by another driver, who left his car at the scene of the accident, and subsequently ran off. The motorcyclist sustained serious injuries and remains in “critical condition” in the hospital. The responsible driver no doubt falls into one of the above categories.
This is sadly just one of many hit-and-run cases reported in Indiana over the last couple of months. Such accidents leave victims feeling vulnerable and unsure of the best path forward.
What Are the Next Steps After a Hit-&-Run Accident?
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident or a family member has passed away in a hit-and-run car accident, you are not alone. You have the right to seek justice by obtaining compensation for your medical bills, wage losses, or funeral costs (via filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim through your insurance company).
If the hit-and-run driver is unknown or does not have insurance, you will need to go through your uninsured motorist insurance coverage, which most Indiana policies include.
The process of filing a claim can be tricky to navigate and many find themselves at a loss by the end of the process. This is why it is recommended to work with an experienced personal injury attorney; quality help yields quality results.
Crossen Law Firm: Quality Help
At Crossen Law Firm, we aggressively advocate for your rights using our 20+ years of experience. This foundational knowledge allows us to work with and for hit-and-run victims, leaving them feeling comforted and vindicated. Contact us today for a free consultation. Quality help is just a conversation away.