Hit and Run Accidents

INDIANA HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

Any accident is traumatic, but a hit-and-run accident is particularly infuriating. It’s one thing to be in a collision, but at least there is another human being suffering through it with you, and possibly even apologizing. In a hit-and-run accident, the person who hit you doesn’t even take the time or effort to stop and see if you and your passengers are alive. How could anyone be so cruel?

Unfortunately, many people are that cruel.

  • According to the NHTSA, a hit-and-run accident occurs every 43 seconds in the United States.
  • Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to hit-and-run accidents: studies show that over the past 30 years, approximately 1 out of every 5 pedestrian deaths involved a hit-and-run accident.
  • There were 45 fatal hit-and-run crashes in Indiana in 2016.
  • In 2019, there were 28,122 hit-and-run accidents in Indiana. This is out of a total of 217,396 total collisions that year.
  • The average number of hit-and-run accidents in each county was 8; the median was 7.
  • Indiana counties with the highest rate of hit-and-run collisions were urban:
    • Allen County: 20.6%
    • Joseph County: 19.6%
    • Marion County: 19.5%
    • Lake County: 18.7%
    • Vigo County: 18.4%

Reasons for Indiana hit-and-run accidents:

  • The biggest reason that people leave the scene of an accident is that they are intoxicated and do not want to face the consequences. The fact that they are under the influence may lower their inhibitions and cause them not to grasp the consequences of their actions. In other words, the alcohol or drugs caused them to get into the accident in the first place and caused them to subsequently flee the scene. Intoxicated drivers may hope that by the time the police catch up with them they will have sobered up.
    • In Indiana 3,926 collisions occurred that involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
    • 1,014 of these collisions involved injuries.
    • 104 of these accidents involved fatalities.
  • Hit-and-run drivers may also flee the scene of an accident because they have outstanding warrants or previous convictions. Some hit-and-run drivers are avoiding the police because they have unpaid tickets or are behind on child support payments.
  • Other hit-and-run drivers may leave the scene because they know that they are uninsured or because they are driving without a license.
  • Many hit-and-run accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Although there have always been drivers distracted by eating or fiddling with the radio or talking with passengers, the biggest distraction now is cell phones.
    • The CDC reports that deaths caused by distracted driving stayed under 2,000 each year until the early 2000s when people began to own handheld technology devices.
    • Each day in the United States, distracted driving causes 8 deaths.
    • In 2019, there were 6,261 accidents in Indiana caused by distracted drivers.

Recent Indiana Hit-and-Run Accidents

August 30, 2021: A southern Indiana high school student was struck and killed as she was boarding her school bus. The driver who struck her left the scene but was later apprehended.

August 25, 2021: A 21-year-old woman was hit and killed while she was crossing East State Boulevard in Fort Wayne by an SUV that fled the scene.

August 16, 2021: A 27-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on the east side of Indianapolis.

August 9, 2021: Two people in Evansville were taken to the hospital with injuries after their car was hit by another car driven by a man with no license. He left the scene but was later apprehended.

August 8, 2021: A 63-year-old Evansville man was killed when a 25-year-old woman struck him on Fulton Avenue and left the scene.

August 1, 2021: A Terre Haute pedestrian was struck and critically injured by a hit-and-run driver. The pedestrian later died in the hospital.

What a driver should do after being involved in an accident:

According to Indiana Code 9-26-1-1

  • The operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident shall immediately stop the operator’s motor vehicle:
    (A) at the scene of the accident; or
    (B) as close to the accident as possible; in a manner that does not obstruct traffic more than is necessary.
  • Remain at the scene of the accident until the operator does the following:
    (A) Gives the operator’s name and address and the registration number of the motor vehicle the operator was driving to any person involved in the accident.
    (B) Exhibits the operator’s driver’s license to any person involved in the accident or occupant of or any person attending to any vehicle involved in the accident.

Failure to stay at the scene of the accident is classified as a hit-and-run and has strict penalties in the state of Indiana.

Indiana penalties for hit-and-run drivers

Hit-and-run without injuries
Class B misdemeanor
Imprisonment for up to 180 days and a fine of up to $1,000

Hit-and-run with bodily injuries
Class A misdemeanor
Imprisonment for up to 1 year and a fine of up to $5,000

Hit-and-run with serious injuries
Level 6 felony
Imprisonment from 6 months-2.5 years and a fine of up to $10,000

Hit-and-run causing death or catastrophic injuries
Level 4 felony
Imprisonment from 2-12 years and a fine of up to $10,000

Hit-and-run while under the influence, causing serious, catastrophic, or fatal injury
Level 3 felony
Imprisonment from 10-30 years and a fine of up to $10,000

There are also other penalties for hit-and-run drivers apart from the criminal charges outlined above. In some cases, the driver’s insurance premiums can as much as double after an accident of this type. The driver may have trouble getting insurance. The state may require that you file an SR-22. This is proof of future financial responsibility and may be imposed for a variety of reasons for up to five (5) years. A valid SR22 form must remain on file with the BMV for the duration of the required period.

What should you do if you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Indiana?

  • If there is any way to see and remember the other driver’s license plate number, do so.
  • If you saw the other driver, remember as many details as possible. You may want to open the voice memo feature in your phone to record what you saw while it is still fresh in your mind.
    • Was the driver male or female?
    • Approximately what age?
    • What color hair?
    • Did they wear glasses?
    • What color and model was the other vehicle?
  • Do not chase the other driver. This could cause another accident, one that may be even more serious.
  • Phone the police immediately and give as many details as you can remember.
  • Take photographs of your car and the scene, as you would do in any other accident.
  • Look for eyewitnesses and take their contact information.
  • If you and your passengers are not trapped or seriously injured and your car is not in a safe place, move it to the side of the road.
  • When you get home, speak to your insurance company.
  • Try not to panic. Chances are you have uninsured motorist coverage.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible. Many serious injuries are not immediately apparent. You will not know about your pain level until later because it can be masked by the adrenaline and shock of being in an accident.
  • Stay off social media.
  • Contact an experienced Indianapolis hit-and-run attorney.

What about insurance?

All car insurance policies in Indiana must include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage unless you specifically waive (reject) them in writing. You will be covered up to the policy limits of your specific policy.

Minimum liability limits are:

  • Uninsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $25,000/$50,000
  • Property Damage: $25,000
  • Underinsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $50,000

How can an attorney help?

If the police do locate the negligent driver who hit you and fled the scene and if that driver has insurance, your attorney may still have to prove that the accident resulted from that driver’s negligence. Indiana is not a no-fault state. Insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to part with their money, which is why they continue to succeed: they are for-profit businesses. Crossen Law Firm will deal with the insurance companies for you, making sure that your settlement amount is truly fair and reflective of the extent of your injuries, property damage, and hardship. And while resolving car accidents involves no shortage of forms and filing practices, Crossen’s legal team will take the paperwork off of your hands, reducing your burden.

If you are unable to come to a settlement that provides you with adequate compensation, you may decide to pursue a lawsuit. The Crossen Law Firm personal injury attorneys will take care of all of the details of your case, including:

  • Reviewing the accident report
  • Looking at traffic camera footage
  • Examining medical records and bills
  • Bringing in expert witnesses

The entire process of dealing with the aftermath of an accident is stressful and complicated, and a hit-and-run accident is even more convoluted. While everyone’s experience after a car crash will be different, dealing with trauma, injuries and medical costs, and lost time from work is never easy. With all these difficulties, receiving sound guidance from an experienced Indiana automobile accident attorney can take the legal work and stress off your shoulders and help you recover compensation that you deserve. Attorney Trevor Crossen and his legal team at Crossen Law Firm are committed to your well-being and getting you nothing short of full compensation for your case.

Insurance companies and medical bills do not work on your schedule or permit adequate time for healing and recovery before paperwork and inquiries start coming in. Therefore, getting a car accident lawyer on your side early on can greatly reduce this burden and make sure that you have an advocate fighting for your best interests, recovery, and fair compensation.

Get started on your case today by scheduling a free consultation about your situation.

Call 317-401-8626 or contact us online.

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